Franchisees have also been getting creative, offering perks like free child care to workers, McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said during the company's conference call this morning. The situation is getting better, and more applications are coming in, he said. But there is still progress to be made.
"I'm constructive and positive on the staffing outlook in the back half (of the year). I think we're going to continue to make progress," he said. "But it certainly is a challenge."
Staffing issues have had a negative impact on service times, adding about three seconds onto the average interaction, Kempczinski said. "We don't love that," he added.
McDonald's has been working for some time to cut its drive-thru times and says it has trimmed about 30 seconds in recent years. Despite those challenges, comparable-store sales rose almost 41% globally from a year earlier, outpacing the 39% gain that analysts expected.
By the same measure, McDonald's also beat Wall Street projections in the U.S. and its international markets.
The results underscore how McDonald's has emerged from the pandemic stronger, underpinned by drive-thru orders, carryout and, increasingly, delivery. McDonald's said online and mobile orders in its top six markets climbed 70% year-to-date, showing the company's investment in the area appears to be paying off.