May 28, 2022

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Former McDonald’s CEO: Inflation is driving every US restaurant ‘absolutely crazy’

McDonald’s is one of the companies feeling the heat of inflation, forcing the franchise to raise their prices. 

Former McDonald’s USA CEO Ed Rensi argued that inflation is driving every restaurant in the United States “absolutely crazy,” and that the price of products has gone up “substantially.”

“Portion sizes are shrinking. Prices are going up. It’s just insane what’s happening in the restaurant industry,” Rensi told “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” Friday. 

INFLATION HITS MCDONALD’S ON FOOD COSTS, LABOR

“It’s also true of every other small business,” Rensi said. “They’re all suffering terribly from this federal inflation.”

McDonald’s says inflationary pressures will stick around in 2022 after profits and sales fell short of estimates.

In the U.S., the Golden Arches burger chain reported that same-store sales – or restaurants open at least a year – rose 7.5% from October to December [2021]. For the full year, same-store sales notched 13.8%, which marked “the highest U.S. annual comparable sales ever reported,” McDonald’s announced in its earnings release back in January. 

Signage outside a McDonald’s Corp. fast food restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. ( Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

“90 percent of the businesses are owned by franchisees. They’re very close to their customers…they understand what their local costs are,” Rensi noted. 

“McDonald’s has recommended…somewhere around 6, 6.5 percent increase next year. The reality of it is every franchisee gets to decide their own prices based on community needs.”

The former McDonald’s CEO continued to say that another major issue besides inflation is the trucker’s shortage, which is deeply impacting the restaurant industry. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MCD MCDONALD’S CORP. 260.06 -0.58 -0.22%
QSR RESTAURANT BRANDS INTERNATIONAL INC. 55.74 +0.13 +0.23%

“The biggest single problem we’ve got is the…truckers shortage and a disruption of imports coming into this country,” he added. “This truckers’ situation is enormous and is having a big impact.”

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Meanwhile, coronavirus vaccine mandates continue to wreak havoc on businesses already struggling with higher costs and labor shortages. The new omicron variant is putting more pressure on businesses that are already having a hard time because of the ongoing pandemic.

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“If you take a look at the jobs report, if you have any belief in our numbers and frankly…It says that we’re recovering from this COVID…Let’s lighten up a little bit, let our bodies handle it, instead of government handling it,” Rensi concluded. 

FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.