McDonald’s Temporarily Closes U.S. Offices as It Prepares for Layoffs

McDonald's drive-thru
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The fast-food megacorporation McDonald’s has temporarily closed its U.S. offices in preparation for a wave of layoffs as part of the company’s restructuring plan.

Last week, the company sent an internal email to U.S. employees as well as some international staff asking that they work from home Monday through Wednesday as it performs layoffs virtually. The company has given no indication as to how many employees will be given a pink slip.

“During the week of April 3, we will communicate key decisions related to roles and staffing levels across the organization,” the company said in the email obtained by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The company said in its email that the week would likely be a busy one for travel due to spring break and Easter, which inspired its decision to perform layoffs virtually.

“We want to ensure the comfort and confidentiality of our people during the notification period,” the company said.

The wave of layoffs comes after McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said in an interview this past January that the company will be making “difficult” decisions to restructure its corporate staff.

“Some jobs that are existing today are either going to get moved or those jobs may go away,” Kempczinski said.

Between its restaurants and corporate operations, the company employs roughly 150,000 people globally, according to the WSJ. McDonald’s is also far from the only company laying off staff this year.

“Companies across industries are reducing head counts amid concerns about a slowing economy. Layoffs that began in the tech sector last year have spread to retailers and manufacturers. Last month Inc. said it was eliminating 9,000 more jobs, following previously announced layoffs,” noted WSJ.

In December of last year, McDonald’s launched its first fully automated restaurant operated by robots in Fort Worth, Texas, as a test for future locations. The restaurant reportedly requires no human contact for orders or meal pickup in the dining room and the drive-thru. McDonald’s said the location will be for customers in need of a meal on the go by featuring an “Order Ahead Lane” where people can receive orders on a conveyer belt. The new location is part of the company’s “Accelerating the Arches” program to improve customer experience.

“When you step inside the test restaurant concept, you’ll notice it’s considerably smaller than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant in the U.S. Why? The features—inside and outside—are geared toward customers who are planning to dine at home or on the go,” McDonald’s said in a statement at the time.

“Inside the restaurant, there’s a delivery pick-up room for couriers to retrieve orders quickly and conveniently. There are also kiosks, where customers can place their orders to go, and a pick-up shelf for orders,” it added. “Outside the restaurant, there are several parking spaces dedicated to curbside order pick-up, as well as designated parking spaces for delivery drivers.”

Keith Vanecek, the franchisee operating the test restaurant, told Newsweek the technology will free the restaurant team to focus more on speed and accuracy.

“The technology in this restaurant not only allows us to serve our customers in new, innovative ways, it gives our restaurant team the ability to concentrate more on order speed and accuracy, which makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone,” he said.

“I am immensely proud to have this new restaurant concept serving our customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.”

As Breitbart News reported last week, the Disney corporation began its round of layoffs that focused on television production and acquisitions. CEO Bob Iger already publicly said the company expects to lay off roughly 7,000 staffers to save roughly $5.5 billion on the eve of a recession.


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