McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski (Kim-chin-skee) expects dining inside restaurants to bounce back following the COVID-19 pandemic. Kempczinski states, “I think dine-in is always going to be here,” making his comments during a CNBC Evolve Conference panel, adding, “Eating is such a social experience, and dine-in is a part of that social experience.”
Digital orders and drive-thru sales surged through the pandemic for the fast-food sector, along with curbside pickup for sit-down restaurants. Dine-in customers make up about a quarter of McDonald’s U.S. sales. The McDonalds CEO says, “I think in the U.S., we may see dine-in take longer to recover,” but adds, “we’re certainly expecting that dine-in is also going to be an important part of the McDonald’s experience.”
Other fast-food chains in the U.S. are building new locations with less seating and a focus on the to-go experience, based on how sales shifted during the pandemic. However, most plan to keep some form of seating for dine-in customers moving forward.