Number of McDonald's employees worldwide 2012-2019

Household name McDonald’s accounted for around 205 thousand employees in 2019. This number has fallen by 85 thousand since the previous year and has more than halved in the past five years.

Unit growth, staff decline

The number of McDonald’s restaurants across the globe is ever on the increase, showing a pattern of year-over-year growth over the past 10 years. The company has even implemented a growth strategy named “Velocity Growth Plan” for its emphasis on speed of expansion. Yet the number of employees has decreased dramatically over the past five years. So, why is this?

More tech = less workers?

McDonald’s is in the process of updating its stores using three accelerators to do so - “Digital”, “Delivery” and “Experience of the Future” – two of these three initiatives are technology-based. The “Digital” initiative allows customers to order eat-in, takeout and drive thru food through a mobile ordering and payment system. Meanwhile, the “Experience of the Future” accelerator includes self-serve digital kiosks and table service. While people are still needed for many aspects of the work (serving, delivery, management to name a few), many of the ordering components have now been taken over by technology. Tech may not be the only factor for McDonald’s downsizing its staff, but it could very well have had an impact.

Number of McDonald's employees worldwide from 2012 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020



Survey time period

2012 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Included in the count are corporate office employees and company-owned restaurant employees

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