America's Faltering Love for the Fast-Food King
After decades of domination, fast-food companies are entering into a period of struggle in America. For years these companies: McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's and others, have fattened American's bellies and lightened their wallets. But now for the first time, Americans have begun to fight back against these companies.
People are Fed Up
I mean this literally. Our bodies cannot tolerate many more big Macs and supersized sodas. Year after year Americans and consumers around the world consumed more and more sugary drinks and fatty foods. Obesity rates have crawled up and that has been an explosion of diseases such as diabetes.
But in 2013 something changed. McDonalds same store sales in America actually declined for the first time ever. This means that despite low priced addicting food options, Americans visited McDonalds fewer times, and spent fewer dollars at this fast-food chain.
I personally can think of two reasons. One is simply that Americans are beginning to become more health conscious and realize that fast-food is literally poisoning them. The second reason though is far more interesting.
It has become clear to the majority of Americans that McDonalds has been taking advantage of it's employees. The company pays close to minimum wage for most employees even while raking in billions of dollars in profits every year. Then the company goes even further and mocks employees by creating "budget plans" for them like the one shown below.
This wonderfully thoughtful budget shows the way that a McDonalds employee would support themselves by working two jobs for about minimum wage. Working for about $8.00 per hour, it would take about 60 hours per week between two jobs to bring in this level of income. Not to mention that McDonald's assumes that it's employees need to spend $0 per month on heat!
Way to go McDonalds.
The Silver Lining
It appears to me that America as a society is becoming more socially aware of the problems of other people. Rather than just focusing on ourselves, it seems that we are wanting more and more to help out others. Even the suggestion that feeling bad for McDonald's employees may decrease sales is a good sign. It shows that perhaps we are becoming reluctant to support a company that routinely takes advantage of it's employees. If we continue to put pressure on McDonald's, maybe they will even change their practices.