McDonald’s Shuts Down U.S. Headquarters to Prepare for Layoffs

McDonald’s Shutdown Layoffs

Corporate Employees Will be Notified of Staffing Decisions Virtually

McDonald’s Corp. will shut its U.S. offices Monday through Wednesday this week in the lead-up to an unknown number of corporate staff layoffs, according to a report published on Sunday in The Wall Street Journal. During the first week of January, McDonald’s had announced that it planned to execute a restructuring that would result in job losses among its corporate workers. 

Corporate employees at McDonald’s Chicago headquarters as well as some international staff members were told to work from home April 3-5 and that they would be notified virtually of their employment status, The Journal reported. They also were instructed to cancel any meetings they had planned to conduct at company headquarters during the temporary shutdown. 

CEO’s January Announcement

CEO Chris Kempczinski had said early in the New Year that he wanted to cut costs by trimming the corporate payroll. At that time, he said there were no target amounts for either dollar savings or job cuts.  

When making that announcement about three months ago, Kempczinski had stated the huge company had developed too many silos, spawning redundancies and thwarting innovation. The spring job cuts would lead to consolidation and even abandonment of some projects, he further said when discussing the restructuring. 

McDonald’s By the Numbers

Worldwide today, McDonald’s employs more than 150,000 people in corporate roles and in its owned restaurants, with about 70% of them located outside the United States. That employee total has shrunk steadily during the past half-dozen years. In 2017 the company had 235,000 employees, The Journal reported, and in 2019 – after a sweeping program of management streamlining that aimed to shave $500 million from the corporate payroll – its corporate staff and corporate-owned restaurants had a total of roughly 205,000.

During the cuts that ended in 2019, McDonald’s slashed its regional field offices, a move that led to widespread discontent among franchisees. McDonald’s has about 13,500 restaurants in the United States, and approximately 95% of them are owned by franchisees.

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