McDonald’s said Thursday that sales of Big Macs, chicken nuggets and french fries got back to prepandemic levels in the first part of the year.
Global same-store sales grew 7.5 percent in the first quarter from the year-earlier period. That was driven by a big jump of 13.6 percent in the United States, McDonald’s reported. Revenues for the quarter rose to $5.12 billion, topping the $4.7 billion brought in a year ago as well as the $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic struck.
Chris Kempczinski, the president and chief executive officer of McDonald’s, touted the company’s rebound, noting that it had occurred “even as resurgences and operating restrictions persist in many parts of the world.”
Profit in the quarter climbed to $1.5 billion, from $1.1 billion a year earlier.
Chicken was one of the big drivers for growth in the U.S. The company brought back its spicy chicken nuggets for a limited time and entered the competitive chicken-sandwich market with its own version in February.
What remains unclear is which consumer behaviors that changed during the pandemic will stick. In the call with analysts, executives said they expected delivery and drive-through to remain important. But breakfast has been slower to rebound.
“We believe that certainly as some consumer habits return to prepandemic ways of life, that the breakfast day part will continue to come back,” Mr. Erlinger said. “And similarly to how it was a real market-share battle prepandemic, we think that market-share battle will absolutely continue and we’re ready and prepared for that.”