There is a reality-based delusion that makes us think the world will stay the same as it is now. The Golden Arches losing their luster is an indication that the world turns. McDonald's is no longer the world's largest fast-food chain. It still takes in the greatest amount of money--not from me!--but the number of McDonald's restaurants fall short of the top. That distinction goes to Subway, also an eating spot you won't find me in too often. One-hundred years ago, McDonald's didn't exist. One-hundred years from now, it might not exist. A few years back, I posted on Budweiser overtaking Schlitz for beer dominance more than a half-century ago. Change is a constant, and the might do fall. Several of the original twelve components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average are no longer in business. And just one, General Electric, remains in the index. The world turns. Where it goes we don't know but we will soon find out.
I'm not reall sure why this data point is important in terms of assessing industry dominance. So they have more stores; but, the article seems to indicate that McDonald's still brings in more cash (I suppose if you added Chipotle, and its other businesses, it would be even more). Let's see how many Subways there are in a few years. Remember, McDonalds is like #10 on the list of 10 most expensive franchises to buy. A Subway franchise is under 300k. I know that McDonalds is over 1M and I think it's closer to 2M. Of course there are more Subways, people come to America to start a business. Poor bastards.
Sorry, you were talking about the whole world, but my point is still valid.
I used to work with a woman whose son owned a Subway franchise. She said when Subway was deciding where to place a store, they just looked to see if there was a McDonald's nearby. They figured if McDonald's research indicated the area could support a restaurant, there was sufficient business to support a Subway as well.