McDonald's CEO addresses concerns of possible meat shortage amid coronavirus

ByKELLY MCCARTHY via ABCNews logo
Thursday, May 7, 2020
McDonald's CEO addresses concerns of possible meat shortage amid coronavirus
A McDonald's Big Mac and french fries are seen on a tray on April 30, 2018 in Miami, Fla.
ABCNews

McDonald's has kept thousands of restaurants open around the world to feed communities and front-line workers amid the coronavirus pandemic and the fast food chain remains confident it will continue to do so despite the latest challenge to hit the U.S. food industry.

Chris Kempczinski, the CEO of McDonald's, joined "Good Morning America" on Thursday to discuss concerns over beef and pork shortages.

"We've got an amazing group of suppliers and amazing supply chain team," he said. "For us really what's been incredible is just through this entire pandemic we haven't had a supply chain break anywhere in all 40,000 restaurants around the globe."

He continued, "That said, in the U.S. And North America, you know, we're watching very closely this meat supply issue. It's particularly an issue with beef. Right now we feel good about our situation, but it really is a day-to-day status and we're monitoring it but, again, we feel pretty good about where we're at right now."

While McDonald's has not had supply chain problems, some Wendy's restaurants have taken hamburgers off the menu due to the meat shortage.

Kempczinski also said that for now, the most important focus is on "keeping the crew, keeping customers safe."

"Without that nothing else really matters to be quite honest and so in the case of our crew, we're doing a variety of things," he said.

McDonald's has over 50 new procedures in place at U.S. restaurants, which include "everything from social distancing, how we sanitize the restaurant, protective barriers, gloves, masks" and more, according to the company.

As for customers, Kempczinski said "most of our business now is happening through the drive-through which kind of has a natural built-in social distancing element to it."

"Certainly we've never had a test like this one but it's just been great to see how we're sharing learnings and best practices across the globe because we're all going through this for the first time," he added.

Globally, Kempczinski said McDonald's has started to innovate with dining room spacing, barriers, contact-less ordering and pickup from a cart to avoid human contact.

"I think the thing you're seeing in the Netherlands and in restaurants around the globe, McDonald's is really good at innovating and this is an innovation problem as much as a public health problem," he explained. "So we're going to find solutions to this to ensure we can both serve our customers but also make sure we're doing it safely."

McDonald's, like many restaurants that have stayed open, created a Thank You Meal program for first responders and front-line workers. More than 10 million meals have been donated in the last two weeks.

"Now that will continue on a local basis in some restaurants," Kempczinski said of the program. "[To] be able to get a meal on your way to or from work has been a huge, huge help to first responders and we're going to continue to find ways like the thank you meal program to just step up and do a little extra thanks as well."

Related Topics