• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Backlash Swift after McDonald’s CEO speaks out against crime in Chicago | Franchise News

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Sep 23, 2022

Last week, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski gave a speech exposing crime in Chicago and saying the fast-food giant’s commitment to the city where it was born is “not boundless, is not not unconditional,” he told the Economic Club of Chicago. “There is a general feeling that our city is in crisis.” The reaction was varied and quick.

On Wednesday, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot slammed the CEO’s comments and pushed back against her urge to “face the facts” on exits from companies including Caterpillar, Boeing and Citadel. “What would have been helpful was for the CEO of McDonald’s to find out before he spoke,” Lightfoot said at a press conference.

She called the departures “disappointing” and “not to be ignored,” while saying 112 businesses have moved or opened in Chicago in the past 18 months.

On Tuesday, McDonald’s ran a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune, showing the Golden Arches rising from downtown Chicago’s West Loop, where it left the suburbs in 2018, and affirming the giant’s commitment fast food to the city. Some call Chicago the second city, the ad says, but for McDonald’s it will always be the first, a sentiment Kempczinski also expressed in his remarks.

Read here to learn more about the McDonald’s CEO’s comments on crime.

Last Friday, the Chicago Tribune editorial board backed the CEO’s remarks, saying that “when McDonald’s impressive new CEO,” appointed in 2019, “pointed things to say about the current state of Chicago, it deserves attention”.

The board compared the McD chief’s comments to those of Ken Griffin, the Citadel founder and a vocal critic of the city who is retiring his company to a new Miami headquarters. Kempczinski’s comments were “a Ken Griffin Big Mac Spicy Chicken Sandwich,” he said.

Kempczinski “didn’t have to go to this place for what is usually a happy lunch,” which he “surely knew he probably would,” the Chicago Tribune noted of the conference. ‘Economic Club. “It wasn’t just a warning from a city in crisis, it was a public warning that was willing to risk making things worse in the hope of making them better.”

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal “amplified” the Economic Club’s speech in a story, as the Chicago Tribune put it, and followed it up with an op-ed on one of the board’s favorite topics. administration – crime in major cities run by Democrats.

“I call Mayor Lori Lightfoot. When residents no longer feel safe in a large restaurant chain and a CEO makes a public appeal, social order crumbles,” the editorial said.

“The comments will come as no surprise to residents who have watched their town on Lake Michigan descend into public disorder. Tent cities are sprawling across lakefront parks. Crime that was once confined to certain neighborhoods now threatens the downtown business district,” the editorial continued. .

Meanwhile, the Twitterverse weighed in, according to mash.com, with comments such as: “Is he going to offer solutions for real (him or others) or will they just keep saying the same crap that a bunch of other people say without offering solutions ?” Another user wrote: “They have no concerns about the hyper-segregated and concentrated poverty in #Chicago or the low wages the poor earn working at @McDonaldsCorp, they just want to protect downtown and wealthy Chicago violence!”

Aside from McDonald’s announcement, the company has released no statement on its CEO’s speech and its aftermath.

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