McDonald's corporate employees were told to work from home this week ahead of several layoffs, the Wall Street Journal reported. CNBC said the number will be in the hundreds.
In an internal email to workers, the fast-food giant said it will "communicate key decisions related to role and staffing levels across the organization." McDonald's has 150,000 employees across the world, and 70 percent of that is international, the Journal reported.
CEO Chris Kempczinski indicated in January that an organizational restructuring was coming. According to CNN, He wrote, "We will evaluate roles and staffing levels in parts of the organization and there will be difficult discussions and decisions ahead," and noted, "certain initiatives will be de-prioritized or stopped altogether. This will help us move faster as an organization, while reducing our global costs and freeing up resources to invest in our growth."
The news comes as McDonald's continues to perform well in a volatile environment. In Q4, U.S. same-store sales increased 10.3 percent on top of 7.5 percent growth in 2021. On a three-year basis, domestic comps lifted roughly 25 percent. For the 2022 fiscal year, global comps grew 10.9 percent and traffic increased 5 percent. Since COVID began, McDonald's systemwide sales have increased by nearly $20 billion.
In terms of growth, last year the brand saw net store expansion in the U.S. for the first time in eight years. In addition, earlier in 2023 Kempczinski announced an evolution of its Accelerating the Arches plan, which originally called for modernization, commitment to core menu items, and investing in digital, delivery, and drive-thru. Now, development is a significant part of the discussion.
“The McDonald's global system is executing at a high level, and I'm optimistic that our Accelerating the Arches strategy offers us a long runway of growth,” Kempczinski told investors in January.
McDonald’s will spend between $2.2 billion and $2.4 billion on capital expenditures in 2023, and about half of that will go toward new unit openings. Globally, the category leader will open roughly 1,900 restaurants, with more than 400 of those openings coming in the U.S. or International Operated Market segments.