McDonald’s UK yesterday announced that it would offer its 115,000-strong UK workforce a choice between a flexible contract and a new guaranteed hours’ contract.

The announcement came as the company achieved 44 consecutive quarters of sales growth in the UK and confirmed it would be begin trials of home delivery from June.

The company also reported that table service, where people order via digital self-order kiosks with food brought to their table, is now available in 580 of its sites - nearly half of its UK estate.

The company is to offer fixed-hours contracts after staff in its restaurants complained they were struggling to get loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts because they were not guaranteed employment each week.

It will initially expand fixed contracts to 50 more restaurants before rolling it out nationwide to existing and new employees later this year.

Paul Pomroy, chief executive, McDonald’s UK: “We have enjoyed a strong start to 2017 thanks to continued investment in our restaurant experience and in our people.

“Today, 750 of our restaurants have been transformed as part of our multi-million pound refurbishment programme. Table service, where people order via digital self-order kiosks with food brought to their table, is now available in 580 restaurants. That’s nearly half of our estate where families can visit McDonald’s and enjoy a much more convenient experience. The roll out of our mobile ordering app, and our plan to start trials of home delivery next quarter, mean we are well placed to further meet customers’ demands to be able to enjoy our food no matter when or where they are.

“There is nothing more important than being in step with what our customers want. Our new Food for Thoughts programme, where customers can receive iconic menu items for £1.99 in return for providing feedback on their last experience, has proved hugely popular, delivering responses 70% above expectations which has pleasingly driven incremental purchases.

“Together with our franchisees, we have continued to invest in what matters most to our customers and people. Our evolving restaurant experience is only made possible by the hard work of our restaurant teams, so I am pleased to announce today that by the end of this year, all our people who will be able to choose between a flexible contract and a new guaranteed hours’ contract”.

The UK performance came as the company reported a global like-for-like sales increase of 4% in its first quarter ended 31 March.

McDonald’s chief executive Steve Easterbrook said: “Our efforts to build a better McDonald’s are yielding meaningful results with continued positive momentum and a strong start to 2017 that includes positive comparable sales across all segments, higher global guest counts and enhanced profitability.

“There’s a sense of urgency across the business as we take actions to retain existing customers, regain lapsed customers and convert casual customers to committed customers. We’re continuing to build a more personalised and enjoyable visit, which delights customers with the taste and quality of our food and offers the highest level of convenience, in order to gain traffic in an increasingly competitive industry and deliver profitable growth for our system and shareholders.”

Consolidated revenues decreased 4% (3% in constant currencies) due to the impact of refranchising. In the US, first quarter comparable sales increased 1.7%, building upon strong prior year results that benefited from the launch of all-day breakfast.

Comparable sales for the international lead segment increased 2.8% for the quarter, primarily driven by continued momentum in the UK and Canada’s successful launch of all-day breakfast.