McDonald’s greatest flaw - one shared by most multi-nationals - is
that its sole objective is to maximise profits. This object is achieved
by scrutiny of the bottom line - increasing sales while reducing costs.
As the greatest expense on the McDonald’s profit and loss sheet is its
labour costs, employees, whether they be crew or management, are
effectively treated not as people, but as just another expense to be
Full time managers are under immense pressure to meet budgets and in
some cases 15% of their gross salary is lost if they fail to do so.
While this is a common place incentive in capitalist lines of
management, because McDonald’s is so labour intensive, it can result in
very stressful but unrewarding working conditions for teenagers to be
McDonald’s does try to put a soft edge on this corporate bullying by
establishing themselves as a benevolent mult-national through various
charities such as Ronald McDonald House and McHappy Day. However,
McHappy Day in most restaurants is the busiest day of the year from
which McDonald’s makes record profits. This leads to the unconscionable
conclusion that McDonald's actually expolits charities as well.
Similarly, Ronald McDonald House would generate enough popular appeal
amongst consumers to make it a purposeful investment alone not to
mention its use to legitimise the establishment of new restaurants in
public places such as children’s hospitals.
Nevertheless, on a global scale McDonald’s sales trends are down as
consumer demand shifts towards healthier choice. Meanwhile, crew
turnover rates are rising as young people, more educated about their
rights, decide they have had enough exploitation ad fight back. The result is a number of McDonald’s stores (in this country anyway) closing down due to a failure to meet expectations.
Who knows, while it may not occur in this lifetime, one day a revolution might take place where the mighty golden arches comes crashing down for good. . . oh how sweet it would be!