McDonald’s Prepares For Layoffs Amid Slowing Economy

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McDonald’s, which employs roughly 150,000 people in restaurant and corporate positions currently, is now joining other large companies as they prepare for major layoffs. McDonald’s is now temporarily closing their U.S. offices for the early part of this week as they begin virtual layoffs, which they say is part of their restructuring plan, according to Breitbart. McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said some jobs may be moved around and some may be eliminated altogether. 

The company has not indicated how many employees will be laid off, but an email obtained by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) revealed that employees will be notified virtually of any layoffs or changes to their roles. In the email, the company said that they chose virtual communication expecting Easter and spring break to be a busy travel week for many. They also said that virtual layoffs ensure “the comfort and confidentiality” of employees as they are notified. 


The restructuring of McDonald’s is likely related to their latest innovation. According to Breitbart, “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.”

Keith Vanecek, the franchisee operating the test restaurant, said that the new technology will give the team the opportunity to focus more on order speed and accuracy, which he says makes the experience “more enjoyable for everyone.”


McDonald’s is not alone in announcing sweeping layoffs as major businesses grow concerned with a struggling economy. The Wall Street Journal reported that layoffs began last year in the tech sector, and now have spread to retailers and manufacturers. Just last month, Amazon said they were eliminating an additional 9,000 jobs in their company after already launching a wave of layoffs. The Disney corporation is another major company that has begun layoffs, expecting to let go 7,000 staffers as the economy appears to be slowing down. 

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