News & Politics

5 Bad Things That Have Happened to McDonald's in the Last Few Weeks

The food giant has been hit by a strike over a store with no A/C and a drop in stock prices. Now they have to contend with falling stocks.

Photo Credit: Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com

McDonald’s is having a very bad, no good summer. The corporate food giant has been hit with bad news in recent weeks, enough to give their competitors some joy.

From strikes over burning hot restaurants to a drop in stock prices, McDonald’s has seen better days. Here’s 5 reasons why McDonald’s is having a bad summer.

1. Budget For Workers Lambasted

In mid-July, McDonald’s got some unwelcome publicity when their website with Visa telling employees how to budget on meager earnings was highlighted. It inadvertently served to demonstrate just how tough it is for fast-food workers to get by on their salaries.

The McDonald’s budget had little bearing in reality. It leaves room open for a second job. It says that workers could spend only $20 on healthcare per month. It suggested that rent would cost workers only $600. All of these low-ball suggestions were directed at employees who work for low wages.

The budget was criticized by financial experts, and was also lambasted by the organization Low Pay is Not Okay.

2. New York City Store Hit By Strike Over Lack of A/C

On Friday July 19, workers struck at a McDonald’s in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. It was one of the hottest days of the year, but McDonald’s expected employees at that store branch to work without air conditioning. The workers wouldn’t take it.

At least four employees at the store walked out of their jobs in protest of the heat. One worker named Luisa Dilla told Salon’s Josh Eidelson that another worker had vomited and passed out because of the hot weather. After the worker went downstairs to throw up in the bathroom, the manager at the store followed her and told her to get back to work.

“This is a crime to have workers doing their job, providing their services, with the temperature going more than 110 degrees without air conditioning,” City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez, who represents the area where the store is located, told Salon.

The owner of the McDonald’s store arrived in the afternoon with a portable A/C unit.

This specific strike comes in the midst of a high-profile campaign by low-wage workers at fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, to demand better wages and the right to organize.

3. McDonald’s Stock Falls

Today, reports were published indicating that McDonald’s share prices dropped. The prices dropped 2.7 percent in New York. Shares had previously dropped 3.2 percent--”the biggest intraday drop since Oct. 19,” Bloomberg reports.

July is expected to be a tough month, and the store’s top leaders have warned of a tough year ahead.

4. McDonald’s Healthy Food Not Selling

The corporate food giant has begun to more aggressively market “healthier” foods on its menu. But consumers aren’t biting.

This is a key part of the reason why McDonald’s stocks have fallen. Their “healthy” items just aren’t selling.

5. Competitors Doing Better

The flipside of the fact that McDonald’s is not doing so well economically is that their competitors are doing better. As the Associated Pressreports, “last week, for example, Chipotle Mexican Grill reported that sales rose 3.4 per cent at restaurants open at least a year for the same period.” Chipotle, a company McDonald’s used to invest in, isn’t the only competitor doing better than McDonald’s.

The AP adds: “Burger King and Wendy’s have been revamping their menus under new management, while Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands Inc., has gotten a big boost from its Doritos-flavoured tacos.”


 

Alex Kane is former World editor at AlterNet. His work has appeared in Mondoweiss, Salon, VICE, the Los Angeles Review of Books and more. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.