Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN, September 15, 2022
McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski has big concerns about surging crime in Chicago, where the fast food giant is based, saying it is impacting the company’s restaurants and making it harder to recruit corporate talent.
Crime is “seeping into every corner of our city,” Kempczinski said during an event at the Economic Club of Chicago Wednesday.
“Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question these days — what’s going on in Chicago? While it may wound our civic pride to hear it, there is a general sense out there that our city is in crisis.”
Kempczinski said that McDonald’s (MCD) restaurants in the city are suffering, noting that there are about 400 of the chain’s locations across Chicago.
“We have violent crime that’s happening in our restaurants … we’re seeing homelessness issues in our restaurants. We’re having drug overdoses that are happening in our restaurants,” he said. “So we see in our restaurants, every single day, what’s happening in society at large.”
The Chicago Mayor’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Kempczinski’s remarks.
“For McDonald’s, though, the issue isn’t just about conditions in stores — it’s also about recruiting leaders to the company’s headquarters and convincing corporate workers to return to the office,” the CEO said.
And when it comes to returning to the office, he said, “one of the things that I hear from our employees [is] … ‘I’m not sure it’s safe to come downtown.'”