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McDonald’s aiming to construct more stores but warns of layoffs

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Burger chain McDonald’s said Friday that it would review corporate staffing levels and aim to construct more restaurants as a part of an updated business strategy.

The brand new plan, announced in a letter from Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski to global employees and seen by Reuters, calls for the Chicago-based company to cancel or “de-prioritize” some initiatives while also accelerating development.

That may lead to layoffs in some areas and expansion in others, the corporate said.

“We’ll look to our strategy and our values to guide how we reach those decisions and support every impacted member of the corporate,” the letter said, adding that McDonald’s will begin announcing key decisions by April 3.

McDonald’s beat sales and profit estimates in its last quarterly earnings leads to October, helped by higher menu prices and increased foot traffic from inflation-weary customers searching for value meals. Its global same-store sales increased 9.5% within the third quarter. 

Like other fast-food chains, McDonald’s has hiked menu prices to maintain up with surging commodity and labor costs.

McDonald’s strong sales and profits also mean that it — like several other restaurant chains including Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill — can embark on big expansion plans. McDonald’s didn’t provide numbers for the way many recent stores the corporate wants to construct.

It now also plans to streamline technology — including its loyalty programs — and menu development with a purpose to get recent products into use globally more quickly.

Kempczinski also promoted several executives and created a recent chief transformation officer role, his letter said.

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