McDonald’s to Close Offices Briefly Ahead of Layoffs

According to a report, McDonald’s has temporarily shut down its U.S. offices as it prepares to inform its employees about layoffs. The Wall Street Journal reported that an internal email from the Chicago-based fast-food company instructed U.S. corporate staff and some overseas employees to work from home while the company informs them of their job status. The report stated that McDonald’s would inform its employees this week about staffing decisions that are part of a broader restructuring of the company that was previously announced.

Although the U.S. labor market remains robust, job losses have been increasing, mainly in the technology sector, where many companies were over-hired after the pandemic boom. In recent months, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Meta (formerly Facebook), Twitter, and DoorDash have all announced layoffs.

According to Federal Reserve policymakers, the unemployment rate may increase to 4.6% by the end of this year, a significant increase historically associated with recessions. McDonald’s employs over 150,000 people in corporate positions, with 70% of those employees based outside of the United States. The company reported a nearly 11% increase in global sales in 2022, with sales in the United States rising almost 6%. Total restaurant margins increased by 5%.

In its latest annual report, the company cited challenges in properly staffing some of its outlets. In January, McDonald’s announced its « Accelerating the Arches » program, which would concentrate on « deliveries, Drive Thru, digital, and development. » CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a Jan. 6 letter to employees that the company was operating at a high level but could perform even better. He stated that the company’s siloed approach was « outdated and self-limiting, » and as the company restructures its strategy, « difficult discussions and decisions » regarding roles and staffing levels in certain parts of the organization would occur.