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McDonald’s CEO Expects Dine-In To Bounce Back Despite Digital Ordering, Drive-Thru Surge

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said the fast food giant will likely see in-person dining get back to normal soon, CNBC reported.

He said eating is “a social experience,” and dining in is part of that experience, according to CNBC. Thus far, the digital economy for food has thrived in the pandemic, with to-go orders taking precedence.

McDonald’s saw its U.S. same-store sales turning positive, with the latest quarter showing sales up 13 percent, CNBC reported.

“I think in the U.S., we may see dine-in take longer to recover,” he said, per CNBC. “But we know and we’re certainly expecting that dine-in is also going to be an important part of the McDonald’s experience.”

Kempczinski said dine-in sales make up around a quarter of total U.S. sales, CNBC reported Those sales accounted for around $40.41 billion in 2019.

Europe has a more common base of diners who eat inside McDonald’s as restaurants there are less likely to have a drive-thru, according to CNBC.

This year, McDonald’s has seen a 10 percent boost in shares. The company’s market value is now sitting at $183 billion, CNBC reported.

Drive-thrus are a part of the reason fast food restaurants were able to survive in 2020 as the pandemic cut out almost all in-person dining. PYMNTS reported that almost 75 percent of U.S. customers have used a drive-thru since the pandemic began in March 2020. That amounts to a 43 percent rise.

That was a sharp deviation from how things were in late 2019, with drive-thrus facing issues as municipalities reconsidered what healthy communities were like.

The pandemic reversed all of that, and independent restaurants began to see dine-in service fall off, while curbside pickup and to-go orders began to be more ubiquitous.

Food orders must have a convenience aspect as 67 percent of consumers say six minutes is too long to wait for food.

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