ITALY – American fast-food chain McDonald’s will open 200 new restaurants across Italy by 2025 to meet rebounding demand for fast foods, Dario Baroni, chief executive of the group in the country has revealed.  

McDonalds, which is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, plans to hire about 12,000 people to oversee operations in the new establishments.  

“Italy is seen by the group as one of the markets with the greatest potential on a global scale,” Baroni said. 

He added that the goal was to have 800 restaurants in Italy in the next four years versus the current 630 and have a headcount of some 40,000 versus the 25,000 which it currently has. 

The move to rapidly expand in Italy comes as the foodservice industry tries to recover from a pandemic-catalyzed slowdown where sales plummeted to historic lows. 

In 2020 revenue in Italy fell to 1.4 billion euros from 1.6 billion the previous year, with the bulk of sales coming from the drive-through, carry out and delivery. 

Baroni is however confident that the worst of the pandemic period is over and the company would soon return to pre-pandemic levels. 

He said the group expects to end 2021 with sales above 2019 levels, pushed by take away, drive, and delivery services which now represent more than 60% of sales. 

Meanwhile, McDonald’s Indonesia has added something new to its menu and it is a food item that has never been on the burger joint’s food list before.  

The restaurant is offering a new kind of pie that is far from the Apple pie that is popular in its stores. 

The new pie is not sweet and closely mirrors the beef stew pie that was introduced by the Japanese unit of McDonald’s which is savory rather than fruity sweet. 

The Indonesian branch of the Chicago, Illinois-headquartered fast-food company has also unveiled its “Pizza Pie” which is part of its “Taste of Italy” menu selection. 

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