People wearing face masks walk by a closed McDonald's on Grafton Street in Dublin city center, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
McDonald's is struggling with staff shortages, CEO Chris Kempczinski has said.Cezary Kowalski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • McDonald's US restaurants are open 10% fewer hours than pre-pandemic, the boss of the chain has said.
  • In an interview with The WSJ, CEO Chris Kempczinski pointed to staff shortages.
  • McDonald's has about 13,000 locations in the US.

McDonald's restaurants across the US are open for fewer hours than before the pandemic because they don't have enough staff, the boss of the burger giant has said.

CEO Chris Kempczinski told The Wall Street Journal that the 13,000 McDonald's restaurants in the US had cut their opening hours by 10% on average.

Record numbers of Americans are quitting their jobs in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Others have returned to education, switched industries, or taken early retirement. This has caused a huge labor shortage across industries such as education and trucking, with restaurants hit particularly hard.

Meanwhile, there has been a huge increase in the number of workers calling off sick as coronavirus cases soar amid the spread of the Omicron variant. Some restaurants have been forced to slash opening hoursscale back their menusditch on-site dining, and hike up prices – either because they don't have enough staff or because the staff they do have are self-isolating.

Kempczinski said at McDonald's most recent earnings call, on October 27, that its service was getting slower because it couldn't find enough staff, and that some restaurants had cut their hours. He added that McDonald's staffing hadn't recovered as quickly as he'd expected and predicted the problems would persist into "the next several quarters."

According to The Journal, Kempczinski said that McDonald's workers didn't need a union, and the company's younger employees would view unions as too restrictive in the future.

Many workers across the US have attempted to unionize during the pandemic, including staff at Starbucks, Alphabet, and Amazon.

A report by Kalinowski Equity Research in October estimated that McDonald's labor shortage was pushing the chain's sales down by 3 to 4%.

Companies have been scrambling to attract new hires, offering perks like higher wages, sign-on bonuses, and long-term benefits. Kempczinski said at McDonald's October earnings call that the company's corporate-owned restaurants had raised their wages by an average of 15% in the year to date, and he told The Journal that the chain needed to provide jobs that people wanted and look after its workers.

Some McDonald's franchisees have been taking matters into their own hands. Insider previously reported that a McDonald's in Illinois was offering iPhones to some new hires, while another in Florida gave $50 to anyone who came for an interview.

Read the original article on Business Insider