McDonalds Opens Its First Hamburger University YES We Said Hamburger University

McDonald's is opening its first Hamburger University in Shanghai today, and the fast-food chain said it plans to double the number of franchises in China to 2,000 over the next three years.

Shares of McDonald's were up 31 cents to $67.38. The stock hit $67.49 earlier in the session, an all-time high, on the news.

China is the fastest-growing global market for McDonald's, and company executives expect sales to grow at a 10% annualized rate this year, much better than the modest 2% to 3% growth in the U.S. and flat sales in Europe.

McDonald's has been in China for 20 years, and it currently has more than 60,000 employees in more than 1,100 restaurants in mainland China.

The Hamburger University will not be a place where people only study burgers and fries, but rather a place where new managers can be trained. McDonald's and dozens of other multinational companies have been working to develop local talent in overseas markets.

A survey of 202 multinational companies said they are changing strategies to adapt to rising costs and high employee turnover, according to The American Chamber of Commerce.

The Shanghai Hamburger University is the seventh such global outpost for McDonald's, and its goal is to have 5,000 graduates over the next five years. "We will do our best to be the Harvard for our industry," the school's dean, Susanna Li, told the U.K.'s Telegraph.

China's informal eating-out market is about $300 billion-a-year, said Tim Fenton, the company's president for Asia, Pacific, Middle East and Africa, according to The Associated Press.

"It's because of China's strategic importance to McDonald's that we have chosen to have our new Hamburger University in Shanghai," Fenton said. "We have to get ahead of the people curve."

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