Unit growth, staff decline
The number of McDonald’s restaurants across the globe is on the rise. The company operated and franchised a total of 40,275 restaurants worldwide in 2022. This figure has seen a year-on-year increase for the last 16 years. McDonald's has 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 = fewer 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 and the digitalization of the restaurant industry worldwide may not be the only factors for McDonald’s downsizing its staff, but they could very well have had an impact.