McDonald’s temporarily closed all its corporate offices in the U.S. this week as it reportedly prepared to lay off hundreds of employees, making it the latest high-profile company to announce a round of cost-cutting in recent months.
The fast-food chain closed its U.S. offices Monday through Wednesday and told employees in an email that upcoming layoffs were “a clear opportunity ahead of us to get faster and more effective at solving problems for our customers and people and to globally scale our successful market innovations at speed,” the Associated Press reported.
Anonymous sources familiar with the company’s plans told the Wall Street Journal that hundreds of corporate employees would be laid off this week.
The internal email to employees said the offices were closed, and workers told to work remotely, for three days so that news of the layoffs could be delivered virtually, the Journal reported. Another reason cited in the email is that many employees would be busy with personal travel this week.
The news comes after tech giants Microsoft, Amazon, Twitter, and Facebook parent company Meta all announced layoffs of thousands of workers over recent months. Many tech companies reportedly over-hired during the pandemic, but cost-cutting has also hit other industries, with automaker General Motors offering buyouts to most of its salaried workforce in the U.S. in March.
McDonald’s had indicated in January that a corporate restructure aimed at increasing speed and efficiency would likely involve layoffs, as reported by AP. In the tech sector, Meta has also dubbed 2023 the “year of efficiency,” saying in a press release that it would be “focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization.”
McDonald’s has more than 150,000 employees across corporate roles and jobs in restaurants, about 70 percent of which are outside the U.S., according to AP.
The value of shares in McDonald’s rose nearly 1 percent as layoffs began on Monday, AP reported.