• Employees will be informed about their work status virtually, a report said
  • All in-person meetings at the headquarters have also been canceled this week
  • McDonald's also announced layoffs in 2018 to cut expenses

Burger giant McDonald's is temporarily closing all of its U.S. offices this week as it prepares to inform employees about layoffs, a new report revealed. The fast-food chain previously said earlier this year that it would review corporate workforce levels as it updates its business strategy.

"During the week of April 3, we will communicate key decisions related to roles and staffing levels across the organization," McDonald's said in an internal email sent to U.S. employees and several international staff, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. All in-person meetings at the headquarters in Chicago with vendors and third parties have also been canceled, as per the Journal.

In the email sent last week to employees, the food company asked recipients to work from home from Monday through Wednesday so it can inform employees about their employment status virtually, according to the report.

It is unclear how many corporate employees will be affected but CEO Chris Kempczinski told staff in a note early in January that the company would "evaluate roles and staffing levels" as part of a restructuring, the Financial Times reported.

At the time, the company also said it was looking to establish more restaurants as part of the bid to update its business strategy. Kempczinski told employees that the company would "de-prioritize" some projects while focusing on store development, as per Reuters.

"We will look to our strategy and our values to guide how we reach those decisions and support every impacted member of the company," Kempczinski said.

News of the upcoming layoffs as prompted by McDonald's restructuring came after the fast food chain posted fourth-quarter 2022 earnings results that beat expectations largely due to a combination of improved marketing efforts and higher menu prices.

McDonald's reported revenue of $5.93 billion versus $5.75 billion expected for Q4 2022 in its January earnings call. Same-store sales in the U.S. hit a 10.3% increase against a 7.62% hike expected. Same-store sales of internationally-operated markets saw an increase of 12.6% versus the 7.56% expected.

"Our 'Accelerating the Arches' strategy is driving growth and building brand strength, delivering exceptional full-year performance in 2022 with over 10% comparable sales growth and 5% comparable guest count growth globally," Kempczinski said at the time.

McDonald's "Accelerating the Arches" growth strategy includes a focus on capturing increased demand by accelerating the pace of restaurant openings. The strategy also capitalizes on bringing the chain's "core menu to life" by continuously improving its classics and building on the success of new favorites in global markets.

Aside from beating expectations during in Q4 2022, the company also snagged a deal with Krispy Kreme to offer the latter's donuts in nine locations across Louisville, Kentucky.

The partnership was announced in October, with McDonald's stating that it was looking to attract new morning customers during its test run of Krispy Kreme donuts sales. In recent years, the food chain has been focusing on its breakfast menu, and the Krispy Kreme partnership is expected to help provide McDonald's with data needed to helm future menu decisions.

In mid-2018, the company announced a plan to lay off workers as it was reducing expenses in the millions. At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that McDonald's was "battered by price wars and struggling to revive its U.S. burger business."

"I recognize that change is difficult, and that eliminating layers within our organization means some employees will ultimately exit our system," Kempczinski said in a memo to employees at the time.

Meanwhile, the burger giant is will introduce a limited McFlurry flavor for a limited time this month. The strawberry shortcake McFlurry, which was originally introduced and sold in Singapore, will start selling in U.S. McDonald's restaurants beginning April 12.

Other flavors typically sold in global markets but not in U.S. restaurants and were presented in the country for a limited time in the past were Snickerdoodle, Stroopwafel and Boston Cream.

Before the strawberry shortcake McFlurry was announced last week, the food chain wrapped up its limited sales of the Oreo Shamrock McFlurry, which was sold alongside a seasonal favorite, the Shamrock Shake.

A sign outside a McDonalds restaurant reads "Now Hiring" in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April11, 2022.
A sign outside a McDonalds restaurant reads "Now Hiring" in Augusta, Georgia, U.S., April11, 2022. Reuters / BRIAN SNYDER