McDonald's Has More Problems Than Its McRib Sandwich
Poor McDonald's! It's been having a really rough year. and it looks to be ending on a very low note. First, the Internet explodes with accusations of the company issuing proportionately lower salaries; an average McDonald's salary falls around $18,000 annually, lower than those of childcare workers and cashiers. Then, back in July, the McDonald's employee resource website produces an incredibly unhelpful budget plan for its employees that acknowledges neither food nor gas and assumes that since its pay is so crappy, an employee will need another source of income.
Who exactly is "lovin it?"
On December 5, fast-food workers in multiple cities took to the streets to protest against unfair wages. The workers, organized somewhat by the advocacy group Service Employees International Union, were fighting for increased wages to the tune of $15 per hour. This would be a massive increase from the current average of roughly $7.24 per hour.
But if that didn't shake McDonald's genetically modified feathers, then the release last week of a report by CNBC stating yet another badly tasting post on the employee website has made the fast-food giant shut down the site. According to the report, McDonald's employee website, McResource Line, advised workers against eating fast food and opting for healthier options. I guess someone looked at the McDonald's nutrition fact sheet and threw up in his or her own mouth.
This comes after the McResource Line had posted other relevant and helpful advice such as how much to tip your pool boy because obviously all McDonald's employees have both a pool and someone else to clean it for them.
And so as of last week, the site was taken down stating:
"A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate and we've directed the vendor to take down the website," the company said. "Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald's team members."
Good lord McDonald's public relations team, you're going to blame the media's scrutiny for your obliviousness? No, no, no. That's not OK.
In the age of 24-hour in your face everything, I find it so odd that this multi-national corporation could be that stupid. What is it 1904? Did Ida Tarbell just publish her expose on Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company? What the hell is going on? McDonald's is painting itself into a paneled comic where its CEO is likened to a fat cat licking milk out of a golden arch-shaped dish. Actually, can someone from The New Yorker draw that?
In terms of PR, companies make gaffes all the time, but this is a biggen. As I see it, McDonald's has only a few options to right its wrongs.
Firstly, say sorry. Don't go blaming your website "vendor" for putting up "irrelevant information." You hired them. You have a team of people okaying what goes up there; don't say you are blind to what information it being posted on the site because that's just plain bull. Admit that you've made a horrible mistake and that you will fix the website to make it more useful and applicable to your employees. There is plenty of information that you can post on this website such as company discounts, current openings and transparent company information.
By the way, if you don't already offer company discounts, get some immediately. Much smaller corporations have deals with restaurants, phone companies, gyms, you name it, and offer their employees deals when they use these brands. It's not an amazing perk, but it's something and looks like you give a crap.
Really analyze that pay raise. I have to agree that $15 an hour is a leap -- more than double the average McDonald's employee currently makes - and I understand the hesitation. The average hourly wage in the United States is roughly $20 and this is for people who have college degrees; I'm all for the raise, but slinging fries and being a trained social worker with a bachelor's holds no comparison. But McDonald's can give its employees a bump. Would it kill it to raise the hourly to $9?