News & Commentary

January 8, 2015

The Guardian has written an article exploring OnLabor guest Heather Whitney’s post on McDonald’s plans to create a charitable partnership as a strategy to draw in millennial consumers who have fled the brand in recent years. However, Whitney advocates for a different strategy that will do more to attract millennials: McDonald’s could gain traction with millenial consumers by spending its money on higher wages for employees.

Whitney spoke with the Guardian about her proposal for McDonald’s, telling the Guardian that “[w]e are at a point in time when our basic understanding of the role of corporations in the world is open for reflection and revision.” According to the Guardian, Whitney suggested that to attract millennials, McDonald’s needs to “become the Christmas-morning Ebenezer Scrooge of fast food” by working with Fast Food Forward to provide better wages and better jobs.

McDonald’s responded to the Guardian’s article by stating that the company “support[s] paying our valued employees fair wages aligned with a competitive marketplace.” According to Becca Hary, director of global media relations at McDonald’s, any wage increases should be implemented over time so that the impact on McDonald’s is manageable. Further, as to its use of a charitable partnership to attract millenials, McDonald’s stated that this was nothing new for the company. According to Hary, the company is “always looking for great creative ideas that will resonate with our customers and giving back to our communities is part of how we do business…[s]ince 1955, McDonald’s and its franchisees have always cared about making a difference in our communities, which includes support of Ronald McDonald House Charities and other worthy causes.”

The full Guardian article can be found here, and Heather Whitney’s original post proposing McDonald’s partnership with Fast Food Forward can be found here.

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