McDonald’s Corp. said on Thursday that it will sell all its 413 stores in Taiwan to a franchise operator in a bid to cut costs and improve the fast-food chain’s Greater China business.
“McDonald’s has decided to search for suitable candidates to become its developmental licensee in Taiwan,” the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.
The new business model is aimed at ensuring “faster local decision-making, quicker learning, and restaurant growth”, it said.
McDonald’s relies heavily on franchises in more mature markets such as the United States, but traditionally has focused on self-operated stores in China.
The company is now trying to increase the proportion of franchised stores in the region.
McDonald’s currently employs about 16,000 people In Taiwan, generating revenues of about NT$20 billion(US$646 million) a year, according to Apple Daily Taiwan.
A new investor could take over by the end of the year, although there is no definite schedule.
The company said it will look for someone with strong operational capabilities and a full understanding of the Taiwanese market.
McDonald’s said its decision was in line with its turnaround plan unveiled last month, which includes a restructuring of its international business.
There has been some speculation in Taiwan that Uni-President Enterprises or I-mei Foods could manage McDonald’s outlets in the island.
A spokesman for Uni-President rejected the rumor, saying the group has never had any contact with McDonald’s, Apple Daily Taiwan reported.
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