Popular fast-food restaurant chain McDonald’s is reportedly scaling back its hours by 10% at a number of U.S. locations amid staffing shortages.
According to Fox Business, McDonald’s latest changes in operational hours is due to a lack of employees at a number of locations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s Corp. CEO, stated that adjusting during the situation is one of many priorities for the fast-food company’s growth and well-being. He recently revealed that the 13,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. had cut their opening hours by the 10% on average.
The nearly two-year pandemic reportedly hurt the company’s breakfast business due to a decline in morning rush-hour commuters. However, the fast-food brand was able to bounce back due to cities around the country allowing drive-thru services to remain open. McDonald’s returned to pre-pandemic levels around a year after the health crisis began.
While continuing to focus on the wellbeing of its employees, McDonald’s has reportedly provided COVID-19 tests to franchises. The company currently has nearly 800,000 employees in the U.S. alone.
Despite the recent “The Great Resignation” in 2021, Kempszinki explains that he will continue to plan for the future of the company. But he doesn’t bank on longevity as a leader for the brand. “I’d say I’m a little more Zen about just everything that goes into the job.”
McDonald’s Revealed Slower Service Due to Labor Shortage in Fall 2021
In October 2021, Business Insider reported that service at McDonald’s was struggling to keep up and started getting slower due to staff shortages in the Fall of 2021. Kempczinksi stated at the time that some restaurants were cutting hours and he was expecting to remain short-staffed well into 2022.
However, despite the struggles at the restaurants, Mcdonald’s saw its sales soaring in the third-quarter earnings report of 2021. The company reportedly credited the sales increase due to higher U.S. menu prices and larger order sizes.
Meanwhile, Kempczinski said that the labor shortage was “putting some pressure on things like operating hours. Where we might be dialing back late night for example from what we would ordinarily be doing.”
At that time, some of McDonald’s locations were shutting down dining rooms because they couldn’t find enough staff to operate. Kempczinski observed at the time that the labor shortage is also putting one pressure around the speed of service. Restaurants were down a little bit on the speed of service over the last year-to-date. “That’s also a function of not being able to have the restaurants fully staffed.”
Meanwhile, Kempczinski revealed that corporate-owned restaurants had raised their wages by an average of 15% in the year to date. The company was also providing training to shift managers on how to engage and motivate their staff.