McDonald’s CEO discusses impact of meat supply chain

Chris Kempczinski describes the latest challenges facing the fast-food chain amid growing concerns over the nation’s fresh meat supply with the coronavirus pandemic.
3:00 | 05/07/20

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Transcript for McDonald’s CEO discusses impact of meat supply chain
growing concerns over our nation's food supply with meatpacking plants shut down all over the country as workers fall ill and major fast food chains facing never before seen challenges. Joining us from Chicago is Chris kempczinski, the CEO of McDonald's which serves 65 million people a day worldwide pre-pandemic and thank you so much for joining us. I want to ask about those two employees shot yesterday at a McDonald's in Oklahoma City by customers who were upset that the social distancing rules were in effect. So how are those employees doing and does this give you any pause in keeping your stores open? Well, good morning, Michael. Thanks for having me on. The good news, I can report, is that the two employees who were involved in that incident are okay and they're going to have a full recovery. Obviously it's a heinous crime, particularly because these two people were trying to really support public health. I think, you know, what you're seeing in this situation is really what you're seeing in a variety of situations across the country, which is this tension about opening and people's concern about it. But there's absolutely no excuse for violence, particularly gun violence so I'm just happy that our people are going to be okay. I agree with you. We wish them a full recovery. A lot has been made about the meat supply shortage. Reports that some Wendy's locations have run out of burgers. Do you anticipate McDonald's having a similar issue? We've got an amazing group of suppliers and amazing supply chain team. 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. 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. Virtually all of your restaurants in the U.S. Have remained open throughout this crisis so what are you doing to protect your workers and also your customers? Yep, so for us, keeping the crew, keeping customers safe is really the most important thing. 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. We've put in place over 50 new procedures into our restaurants in the U.S. And it's everything from social distancing, how we sanitize the restaurant, protective barriers, gloves, masks, we've brought in in the U.S. Alone 100 million masks for our crew. So a variety of things that we're doing there. In the case of the customers, you know, most of our business now is happening through the drive-through which kind of has a natural built-in social distancing element to it and I think for us, you know, McDonald's has always been about hygiene. It's been about safety. It's sort of what we're built on so we've got 65 years of experience on this. 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. When this is all over we're sure that fast food restaurant also look very different. Your restaurant in the Netherlands have made some changes. What did they do there, and what are some of the other changes that we can see? Yeah, so what you're seeing in the Netherlands and elsewhere is all of us trying to anticipate in all of our restaurants how do we ensure the customer safety, ensure the crew safety once things get back to kind of be fully open? And so part of what we were experimenting with in the Netherlands is do we limit the number of people that can be in the dining room? Do we create separation between tables in the dining room? If somebody is coming and having their food delivered to them in the restaurant, you know, do we have a cart that maybe they take the food off of so there's no kind of, you know, human so a variety of different things. I think the thing you're seeing in the Netherlands and in staurants around the globe, McDonald's is really good at innovating and this is an innovation problem as much as a public health problem, 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. Absolutely. And McDonald's is saying thank you to frontline workers by distributing free meals to them and that program ended yesterday. So what else are you guys doing to support our first responders? We had an incredible response to our thank you meal program. We ended up giving over two weeks, the two weeks of the program we ended up giving away 10 million free meals to first responders. Now, that will continue on a local basis in some restaurants. That will really be up to our local franchisees whether to continue it but I think a big thing that I hear from first responders and I get emails, you know, almost every day is about us being open and when you're a frontline worker, when you're an essential worker, you're out there just to be able to come into our restaurant, go through the drive-through, 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. Everybody gets a little normalcy. Thank you for what you and McDonald's are doing for the first responders out there. Amy. That McDonald's drive-through, big source of joy in my house. Anything but mom's cooking. Coming up next we have our

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