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McDonald's Ruins Christmas, Asks Stores to Stay Open

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Photo: shan213 / Flickr

Is McDonald's going Grinch this holiday season? According to a memo leaked to AdAge, COO Jim Johannesen wants more McDonald's employees working on Christmas. Johannesen sent the memo to franchisees in early November encouraging them to "ensure your restaurants are open throughout the holidays," starting with Thanksgiving. It seems that many of them did just that: last week, the chain reported November sales growth of 2.5% in the US, and apparently locations that stayed open on Thanksgiving account for about one percentage point of that statistic. So, logically, now they're after those sweet, sweet Christmas dollars.

Staying open for the holidays is a new thing for the company: one ex-franchisee told AdAge a few years ago "You would never even talk about being open on Christmas, even if some were open on Thanksgiving. For the franchisees, this is a big cultural shift." As for whether the employees will get holiday overtime pay, a rep for the company says, "When our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay."

McDonald's says the November growth was due to other factors than staying open on Thanksgiving. They credit the "ongoing popularity of McDonald's breakfast, along with balance across everyday value offerings, premium menu options including the limited-time Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwiches." Being one of the only restaurants open on a holiday when many places are closed certainly didn't hurt, either.

· McDonald's to Franchisees: Merry Christmas. Now Open Your Stores [AdAge]
· All McDonald's Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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