McDonald’s has temporarily shut down its U.S. offices this week as it prepares to deliver layoff messages online. It’s unclear at this time how many employees are said to be laid off, but then CEO Chris Kempczinski had, in a January email, admitted there would be difficult discussions and decisions.
Roughly, the food chain employs 200,000 people worldwide in cooperative roles, and restaurants, and about 75% are located outside of the United States.
In January, Chris revealed corporate job cuts, which would begin in April, would help the business grow. And in a letter to staff, the CEO warned the company had become unfocused, stating: “We had across the globe 70 different, distinct versions of what a crispy chicken sandwich would look like. I don’t need 70 different permutations of a chicken sandwich.”
The CEO at the time also wrote in the letter: “Today, we’re divided into silos with a center, segments, and market.”
However, a new report from The Wall Street Journal, claims the company in a memo titled “Accelerating the Arches 2.0” told employees to work from home so it can fire their staff virtually. McDonald’s said it decided to announce cuts virtually due to an anticipated busy travel week. The Chicago-based chain informed employees about the layoffs last week in an internal email.
While the message was mostly for U.S. employees, a few international corporate workers were also included.
The memo reportedly advised company executives that upcoming in-person meetings with vendors and other outside parties at headquarters be canceled. Workers who don’t have access to a computer were also told to give their personal content information to their manager. The company stated: “We want to ensure the comfort and confidentiality of our people during the notification period.”
Officials stated in the memo: “During the week of April 3, we will communicate key decisions related to roles and staffing levels across the organization.”
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has conducted layoffs among corporate workers. In 2018, the company cut management-level work to be more dynamic, nimble, and competitive. Back in January, Chris said in an interview he didn’t have a set amount he was hoping the jobs cuts would save but that he was focused on advancing the business.
He added: “Some jobs that are existing today are either going to get moved or those jobs may go away.”
But despite Chris’s insistence on cutting costs and increasing profits, McDonald’s costs have recently begun to mellow out after being hit by record-high inflation rates. As per McDonald’s CFO, Ian Borden, the company has continued to see business among lower-income clients that typically order few things or less-expensive items. But so far, the company has been able to maintain profits for the most part, thanks to customers who were turning to the chain for cheap and fast food.