Laying Off Staff to Invest in Future Growth: McDonald’s


McDonald’s Corporation, the world’s leading restaurant chain, is pursuing corporate layoffs this week despite recent healthy profits. The layoffs are to free up resources for the company’s aggressive expansion plan to open new locations in the US and Europe.

The restructuring was announced in January, with the corporate job cuts reportedly being in the hundreds and coming as part of the company’s ‘Accelerating the Arches’ strategy. McDonald’s will be closing its offices this week to deliver layoff messages online to employees.

“We have a clear opportunity ahead of us to get faster and more effective at solving problems for our customers and people and to globally scale our successful market innovations at speed,” McDonald’s said in a memo to staffers.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski’s restructuring plan had vowed to focus on modern marketing, core products, and the so-called ‘three Ds’: digital ordering, delivery and drive-thru. Version 2.0 of the plan added a fourth D, restaurant development, as well as the corporate restructuring plans.

McDonald’s currently has 38,000 locations in over 100 countries, including around 13,515 restaurants in the US. The company is planning to open 1,900 new locations worldwide in 2023, according to its February report.

McDonald’s has hiked prices on its menu by at least 10 percent over the last year to keep up with rising commodity and labor costs. Despite the prices hikes, restaurant traffic rose 5 percent in 2020 and global comparable sales increased 10.9 percent, driving McDonald’s to remain one of the most profitable companies of the year.

The company employs more than 150,000 people around the world in corporate roles and company-owned restaurants, with around 70 percent of those located outside of the US. The layoffs, however, will not include the more than 2 million workers in franchised McDonald’s restaurants around the world.

Chris Kempczinski is the president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation and serves as a member of its Board of Directors. He has over 25 years of experience leading iconic global companies and served as president of McDonald’s USA before his current role. Under his leadership, the company is advancing a strategic transformation plans to accelerate growth, focused on better leveraging its scale, driving restaurant profitability and turning it into a modern, progressive burgers-and-fries company.