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Dealing with criticism has become the norm for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot since she’s been in office. With mayoral elections almost a year away and full of stiff competition looking to become the city’s new leader, it’s virtually certain many will try and get her out as soon as possible.
One of Lightfoot’s recent critics might come as a surprise since it was not a political figure or community-based leader, but none other than Mcdonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinaki.
Kempinski, like many others, worries about the crime in Chicago, and the impact it has on his company as a successful fast food chain in the city is one of his biggest concerns. “It shouldn’t be this hard to talk about the positive aspect of the city,” said the CEO. Since the company started in the city and has almost 400 locations across the area the, CEO says the crime surge impacts the recruitment process for future employees.
He says there were times that he’d hear employees say they don’t feel safe going downtown.
“Everywhere I go, I’m confronted by the same question these days what’s going on in Chicago?” said Kempczinski at an Economic Club of Chicago event this week. ” While it may wound our civic pride to hear it, there’s a general sense out there that our city is in crisis”
The CEO also states that these crimes that he’s heard about are not just happening in the city, but even in the restaurants throughout the city as well. “Every single day, what is happening in society at large… violent crimes, homelessness issues, drug usage, and overdose, all happening in our restaurants”
Highlighting other big-name companies who’ve announced relocating their headquarters out of Chicago like Boeing, Caterpillar, and Citadel, Kempczinski said that he’s been reached out by mayors and governors in other states to think about doing the same. The city of Chicago and McDonald’s have a long history, the fast food giant’s headquarters has been the city from 1955 to 1951, and again in 2018.
The Mayor’s office did not respond to their remarks of Kempinski immediately, but this did not stop Mayor Lightfoot from counterattacking what the CEO said.
During Lightfoot’s City Council Press conference Wednesday, when asked how she felt about Kempiczski’s thoughts about the situation Chicago is in during the Economic Club of Chicago event, she responded by saying it would help if he’d educated himself before he spoke.
Lightfoot then referenced an open letter by her hand-picked head of World Business Chicago, Micheal Fassnacht saying “It lays out in detail all the good news, economic news, about what’s happening in our city, so I’m going to focus on those things and not the comment of the CEO of McDonald’s”
Written By Daylontie Jasper
CNN Business: McDonald’s CEO sounds the alarm over crime in Chicago; by Danielle Wiener-Bronner
Chicago Tribune: After McDonald’s CEO says Chicago needs to ‘face facts’ about problems, Mayor Lightfoot says he should ‘educate himself’ before speaking; by Gregory Pratt
Cranes Chicago Business: After Chicago ‘crisis’ comments, McDonald’s CEO reaffirms commitment to the city
Feature Image by Scott M. Allen Courtesy of U.S Department of Labor’s Flickr Page- Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Eric Allex Rodgers’ Flickr Page- Creative Commons License