In fact, many of those competitors are growing aggressively, which could make it harder for the Golden Arches to improve its sales as it leaves certain communities. According to a report from the Associated Press, McDonald's plans to close more restaurants in the U.S. than it opens this year for the first time since at least 1970.
In April, McDonald's announced that it will close about 350 underperforming restaurants this year, primarily in Japan, the U.S. and China. Those restaurant closings, McDonald's said, were in addition to the 350 global restaurant closings originally planned for 2015.
"Most of these restaurants were not contributing to our overall profitability or cash flow, and we will continue to review our restaurant portfolio with the intent of optimizing our asset base around the world," said the company in a statement. In other words, McDonald's could look to pare down its supersized U.S. store tally further in 2016.
While McDonald's is closing restaurants in the U.S., these key competitors are moving forward amid their better sales and profit results, and have not announced any significant closings.
1. Sonic (SONC)
The retro burger and fry joint will open 34 to 44 new franchised drive-ins this year. "McDonald's is the 800-pound gorilla; when their business is off, it benefits the rest of us," said Sonic chairman, president and CEO Clifford Hudson in an interview with TheStreet on June 9. The Golden Arches' U.S. same-restaurant sales fell 2.6% in the first quarter. On the other hand, Sonic reported back in March that its fiscal second-quarter same-store sales rose 11.5%.