McDonald's U.S. same-store sales fall 5% in May as dining rooms reopen

Key Points
  • McDonald's said that global same-store sales plunged 29.8% quarter-to-date as of May 31.
  • But same-store sales are sequentially improving from April to May, and U.S. same-store sales fell just 5.1% in May.
  • McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said at the end of April that the second-quarter's same-store sales declines will be steeper than the previous quarter's. 

In this article

A person wears a protective face mask outside McDonald's in Union Square during the coronavirus pandemic on April 30, 2020 in New York City.
Noam Galai | Getty Images

McDonald's said Tuesday its U.S. same-store sales fell just 5.1% in May as the chain reopened dining rooms in its home market.

But outside of the United States, the global fast-food giant has had to reckon with more widespread temporary closures that shut down drive-thru and delivery service. The United Kingdom, for example, only began reopening all of its drive-thru locations in June. While U.S. same-store sales shrank 12% this quarter as of May 31, global same-store sales plunged 29.8%. 

CEO Chris Kempczinski said at the end of April that same-store sales declines in the second quarter will be steeper than the previous quarter's. Global same-store sales shrank 3.4% in the first three months of the year after plunging 22% in March.

Across all three of its segments — U.S., international operated markets and international developmental licensed markets — same-store sales improved sequentially from April to May.

International operated markets, which was the hardest hit segment by restaurant closures, saw its same-store sales plunge 66.7% in April and improve to fall just 40.5% in May. The segment includes the U.K., France, Italy and Spain, all of which were hit hard by the coronavirus and restaurant closures. Australia, on the other hand, saw positive same-store sales, thanks to drive-thru lanes. As of Monday, 90% of the segment's restaurants were open again.

In the international developmental licensed markets segment, same-store sales shrank 32.3% in April and 20% in May. Temporary restaurant closures, particularly in Latin America, hurt sales. And same-store sales in China, where the virus first hit, remained negative, although Japan saw same-store sales growth. Roughly 90% of the segment's restaurants are operating, as of Monday.

In the United States, about 1,000 out of 14,000 locations have reopened with reduced seating capacity, and only about 100 restaurants are closed entirely. 

Still, McDonald's U.S. traffic and same-store sales remain negative, with breakfast being particularly hard hit. Consumers working from home are also making their own early morning meal, a trend that is reviving categories like orange juice and cereal. 

McDonald's calculations for same-store sales include locations that were temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic. 

Shares of McDonald's, which has a market value of $146 billion, has fallen 4% this year, as of Monday's close.

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