McDonald's says it has likely reached the trough of global restaurant closures due to COVID-19, with 25 per cent still shuttered. But business has been slow to return as lockdown orders continue to disrupt consumers' routines.
McDonald's said its sales fell 6 per cent to USD 4.71 billion in the January-March period.
Declines have persisted in April.
"We're now operating in a completely different world", McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a conference call with investors.
Worldwide, 75% of the fast food giant's 39,000 stores are open. Kempczinski said locations are gradually reopening according to local regulations.
In China, where 25% of stores were closed in February, nearly all have reopened; 99% of U.S stores are open as well, offering limited menus and takeout food. But most stores remain closed in some key markets like France, the United Kingdom and Italy.
When stores do reopen, business is generally slow, especially at breakfast, McDonald's said. In China, for example, same-store sales or sales at locations open at least a year were down 20% in the first quarter.