McDonald's beat third-quarter revenue and profit estimates today, as customers in the ordered more burgers and fries in drive-thru outlets and on delivery apps to avoid dining out during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its promotional deal with rapper Travis Scott, which caused shortages of some ingredients, and other marketing investments also helped sales bounce back from Covid lows.
However, the world's largest burger chain said its business was being pressured in key markets outside the US including France, Germany and the UK by new lockdown restrictions due to a spike in virus cases.
Even before the new restrictions, McDonald's overseas sales recovery had been sluggish compared to the US, where its huge number of drive-thru lanes gave it an edge over rivals for customers looking for restaurant food without the risks of dining out.
Nearly 95% of McDonald's 14,000 US restaurants have a drive-thru.
McDonald's said its total revenue fell about 2% to $5.42 billion in the three months ended September 30, largely recovering from the over 30% plunge posted in the second quarter.
Analysts on average had estimated revenue of $5.40 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
US customer traffic still remained down from a year earlier, the company said.
Its net income rose 10% to $1.76 billion, helped by gains from the sale of a part of McDonald's stake in its Japanese affiliate.