Donatos wants 200 stores in Germany in three years

Aug. 12, 2002

MUNICH -- Known the world round for its hamburgers, McDonald's is planning to grab a slice of the German pizza market by opening 200 Donatos Pizza restaurants there in the next three years.

According to a report by DW-World, Donatos, which has more than 200 stores across the U.S., will battle Pizza Hut, which has 80 stores and 12,600 employees in Germany.

McDonald's bought Columbus, Ohio-based Donatos in 1999, when the chain had 143 outlets.

The first Donatos is expected to open in October in Munich, while a second is planned for Frankfurt before year's end.

This will mark Donatos first international pizzeria, plus the first non-McDonald's branded store opened by the burger giant.

"With Donatos, we want to create an entirely new market that doesn't show any relationship to the traditional McDonald's market," a McDonald's company spokesman told reporters.

In 2001, McDonald's profits in Germany fell for the first time in 30 years due to food scares such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or "mad cow disease"). The company wants to expand concepts in its growing restaurant brand portfolio to broaden its offerings beyond burgers.

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