Arcos Dorados Announces Record Success for McDonald's in Latin America
Arcos Dorados, the largest restaurant company in Latin America, and owner of the license to operate McDonald's restaurants in the region, announced the biggest annual net revenue obtained by the brand since it opened the first Latin American restaurant in Puerto Rico 42 years ago. In 2008, Arcos Dorados reached net revenue of more than US $3.5 billion, with sales at more than 1,750 restaurants in 19 countries, representing an increase of 26% compared to 2007. In comparable sales, taking into account the same number of restaurants as the previous year, the growth was 21%.
"The 2008 results exceeded our expectations," said Woods Staton, president and CEO of Arcos Dorados. "Thanks to our strategic focus on offering an even more varied menu; on high-quality products and ingredients; in attractive promotions and campaigns, like the Olympic Games in China; in the policy of always offering good value; and in the expansion and re-imaging of the restaurants, the average number of clients we serve in Latin America reached 3.5 million per day."
The record was set in Arcos Dorados' first year of managing the McDonald's restaurants in the region, which places it among the 100 largest private companies in Latin America. The new jobs offered during 2008 allowed the company to close the year with more than 100,000 employees, and earned it recognition as one of the region's five major employers and one of the companies that most offers first jobs to young people in the region.
"We are definitely a prime job option for young people. Besides our contribution to the economic and social development of the communities where we do business, the creation of jobs and the payment of taxes, it gives us great pleasure to be recognized as one of the best employers in Latin America," added Staton.
The rhythm of restaurant expansion was intense: Throughout 2008 the company opened 75 restaurants, 45 McCafe units and 125 dessert centers. The investments were also directed at offering a more friendly and comfortable customer experience, with the full remodeling of 140 restaurants. "We grew not only by opening new restaurants, but also by maintaining and improving what we already had," Staton explained.
Staton stood by the company's commitment to children's health through the support of the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and revealed that the results from the McHappy Day fundraising campaign were 23% higher compared with 2007. "In 2008, for the first time, we implemented the campaign under the same name and format in the entire region, and we achieved a record of US$9.8 million, which was donated to the magnificent work of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Latin America," he said.
With respect to the environment, as well as continuing the policies of recycling and reducing the use of natural resources and supplies, the company was able to open the first environmentally friendly McDonald's restaurant in Latin America. It is located on the coastline of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and incorporates the philosophy of environmentally responsible construction, seeking the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, a system that verifies the incorporation of sustainable measures in the construction and efficient operation of buildings.
"Our sustainable growth strategy brought in record results in 2008. We are committed to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities and cultures we are a part of, from the north of Mexico down to Patagonia," said Staton.