- McDonald's global same-store sales dropped 22% in March in the wake of dining room closures, according to a company filing. For the first quarter of 2020, global same-store sales slipped 3.4%, compared to a positive 5.4% growth in the year ago quarter.
- The restaurant's U.S. same-store sales grew 8.1% in the two months ended Feb. 29, but because U.S. same-store sales fell 13% in March, McDonald's predicts domestic Q1 sales growth will only reach 0.1%, compared to 4.5% growth in Q1 2019. International operated same-store sales dropped 34.7% in March and 6.9% for the first quarter. The company will give an update when it reports its Q1 earnings on April 30.
- The chain withdrew its 2020 financial outlook and long-term forecast, which was issued in February. McDonald's stock has fallen 11% so far this year, according to CNBC.
America's premiere QSR giant is far from immune to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
CEO Chris Kempczinski will reduce his salary by 50% until at least the end of September to financially support the company during this economic crisis, which would translate to a cash infusion of about $625,0000 based on his base salary for 2020 of $1.25 million. Four additional McDonald's executives will also slash their pay by 25% during this time.
The company is also cutting close to $1 billion in planned spending by reducing U.S. restaurant renovations and new global restaurant openings.
McDonald's is streamlining its operations to protect profitability as well. In March, the chain announced that it was temporarily pulling its all-day breakfast menu in the U.S. It will be interesting to see how this impacts franchisee sales. So far, the breakfast daypart in general has suffered — especially with consumers having to break from regular routines — and has been slower to recover than other dayparts.
"Reestablishing those routines does take time, but we plan to be very aggressive and make sure that we get back the breakfast business," Chris Kempczinski, president and CEO told investors on April 30. "The breakfast business is a great part of our overall mix and so we're going to be putting a lot of effort against that."
McDonald's executives said on a call in March with the White House that it would eliminate base rent for operators in April and May to ease financial pressure and reduce media spending. McDonald's previously closed 50 of its 14,000 domestic restaurants, which were in locations that were already closed or seriously impacted by the pandemic, such as a restaurant located at Chicago's Navy Pier, while 99% of its restaurants were open as of April 30.
It's unclear how big of an impact continued economic turmoil will have on the chain. Last year, McDonald's U.S market — its largest — drove $7.8 billion in sales and was already experiencing traffic declines. Even if the current situation devolves even more, however, McDonald's has the significant benefit of having drive-thrus at the majority of its restaurant locations, which allow it to drive off-premise transactions even as diners self-isolate.