Burger King's parent company cooks up plan to have 40,000 restaurants around the world

Brian Sozzi
Editor-at-Large

New Restaurant Brands (QSR) CEO Jose Cil has hatched one sizzling plan for investors to chew on: have 40,000 restaurants globally that serve a range of fast-food.

At its first ever investor day on Wednesday, Cil revealed a goal for Restaurant Brands to hit the 40,000 restaurant mark in eight to 10 years. Restaurant Brands is the parent company of well-known fast-food brands Burger King, Tim Horton’s and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen.

Reaching the 40,000 mark isn’t a pipe-dream — Restaurant Brands has grown its restaurant count to 26,000 currently from 12,000 in 2010. A large portion of that growth has been fueled by the acquisitions of Canadian coffee house Tim Horton’s (2014) and fried chicken joint Popeyes (2017).

But Cil’s comments on the restaurant count target suggest he is prepared to stay focused on growing the three brands already in the Restaurant Brands portfolio instead of buying another brand, at least for now. Restaurant Brands management continues to be prodded by investors on when it will acquire another brand that it can expand and share resources with its other franchises.

“RBI is fundamentally a growth company, with three amazing, iconic brands that we believe have a very long runway for growth — both at home and around the world,” Cil said in a statement. “We have a proven history of generating very strong returns for our shareholders and today we shared more insight than we ever have to support our belief that all three brands have substantial growth ahead.”

A Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Cil will be appear live for an interview on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade Wednesday morning.

Indeed, this investor day is Cil’s coming out party to those investors who don’t know him too well yet.

Cil assumed the CEO position earlier this year from long-time leader Daniel Schwartz. Cil had been Burger King’s president since 2014. He has touched most of Burger King’s operations around the world for some 18 years, making the appointment logical.

The lawyer by trade joined Burger King in 2000. He had a brief 11-month stint at Walmart, and then returned to Restaurant Brands following its acquisition by 3G Capital.

And Cil has to deliver.

Restaurant Brands investors will be clinging to every one of Cil’s words — and others from his executive team — at the investor day. The company posted first quarter earnings of 55 cents a share, falling short of estimates for 58 cents a share. Net sales narrowly beat estimates at $1.27 billion.

Same-store sales growth slowed at three of the company’s concepts versus a year ago.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of Yahoo Finance The First Trade. Follow Brian Sozzi him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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