Americans craving a Big Mac or chicken nuggets might be in for a shock as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 leaves many US McDonald's restaurants short-staffed and forced to reduce hours.
Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's CEO, told Fox Businesses the company is limiting operations at individual stores to address labor shortages due to a rise in COVID infections. Some locations might reduce hours of operations by as much as 10% to help with the labor shortage.
Kempczinski said McDonald's had distributed COVID tests for workers to mitigate the spread. He said there's no way to track whether an employee contracted the virus, which should be up to the government.
The CEO was against President Biden's overreaching federal mandate to make vaccinations mandatory for large companies. McDonald's employs about 800,000 workers.
It's one day at a time for McDonald's as the fast-food chain deals with a labor shortage not just due to COVID but also resignations as Americans are quitting their jobs at record levels.
McDonald's isn't the only fast-food chain dealing with labor shortages. Starbucks and Chipotle Mexican Grill have also temporarily limited operations amid growing labor shortages due to employees calling out sick.
The Omicron variant brings back terrible memories for Americans who are used to instant service as their ability to get a late-night or early morning snack at a fast-food restaurant might become more challenging -- sort of like what happened in the early days of the pandemic.
At what point does the labor shortage become destructive to the economic recovery?
In January's Beige Book, the Federal Reserve appeared concerned about persistent labor shortages and supply chain woes. The report mentioned "Omicron" no less than 44 times.