Speed Reads


Inflation-burdened diners, price increases help fuel strong Q4 for McDonald's

McDonald's saw increased sales in Q4 of last year, the fast food chain reported Tuesday, beating Wall Street's estimates even as inflation continues to plague U.S. consumers.

The company reported sales of $5.93 billion in its fourth quarter, or $2.59 per share, versus analysts' expectations of $5.68 billion, or $2.45 per share, per The Wall Street Journal. Global same-store sales for the period were also up 12.6 percent from a year earlier. Menu price increases and promotions — such as the Cactus Plant Flea Market Box (or the "adult Happy Meal," as some consumers described it) and the limited-time McRib promotion — helped drive the profit boost, the chain said.

Company executives expect rising prices to remain a drag on the restaurant's bottom line into 2023 — though on the consumer side, McDonald's has "largely benefitted" from inflation, which has pushed many diners to alter their habits and substitute a full-service restaurant experience with a trip to the drive-thru, CNBC notes. Indeed, the chain also enjoyed a traffic bump in 2022, it said Tuesday, "as its meals remained less expensive than many competitors, drawing low-income consumers," Reuters writes.

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, McDonald's growth plans are focused on new restaurant development and expansion, said CEO Chris Kempczinski, per the Journal. The company is also expecting to save money by altering its corporate staffing structure come the spring.