Editor’s note: This article has been updated with comments from McDonald’s.
- McDonald’s is closing its regional field offices in the United States, Restaurant Business reported Thursday.
- McDonald’s franchisees and franchisee associations, declined to comment on the report.
- The Golden Arches will shift its national support field teams to remote work, enabling it to close regional offices in Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Colorado, Maryland, Illinois, Connecticut and two California cities, per Restaurant Business. This change will eliminate the division between East and West office zones.
The shuttering of regional U.S. field offices appears to be related to the chain’s Accelerating the Arches 2.0 initiative, which includes restructuring to increase McDonald’s efficiency. That program has necessitated job cuts, ahead of which McDonald’s sent home its corporate staff earlier this week.
Both longer tenured employees and new employees were impacted by this restructuring, according to a source familiar with the matter. Tim Andersen, a VP with the company with more than 42 years at McDonald’s, posted on his personal LinkedIn profile that he’d been forced to retire three years ahead of schedule. The job cuts would total in the hundreds, but McDonald’s is adding or promoting more employees than it is laying off, per the source.
Restaurant Business based its report on a letter sent to operators by McDonald’s U.S. president, Joe Erlinger, which reportedly said the company would consolidate its support teams under a single office headed by Myra Doria, who is now national field president. Restaurant Business also reported the company was adding Michael Gonda as chief impact officer for North America, part of a team that oversees the chain’s government relations.
“With this opportunity to become more deeply involved in the work to increase our impact in two of our largest markets, I’m looking forward to partnering with teams and leaders across the continent to protect and enhance our brand and business model at such a critical time,” Gonda said in a statement.
That move could signal that McDonald’s intends to be more politically aggressive within the U.S. in coming years. The company has given more than $1,100,000 already to a referendum effort seeking to overturn California’s fast food wages and standards council law, and Erlinger published a letter opposing that law earlier this year. The chain has also backed Gov. Kathy Hochul’s effort to raise New York wages in a letter published in March.
Late last year, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski expressed concerns over crime in Chicago, after a scandal in which Kempczinski seemed to blame the parents of victims of violent crime in a text message exchange with then-Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot.