McDonald's Sidesteps SF Happy Meal Ban
Toys to be sold as an extra
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2011 12:53 AM CST
Updated Nov 30, 2011 7:39 AM CST
Even the 'healthier' Happy Meals introduced earlier this year don't come close to meeting San Francisco's guidelines.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – San Francisco's Happy Meal ban kicks in tomorrow, but McDonald's has found a very simple way to dodge it. The law bans restaurants from including a toy with a meal if that meal doesn't comply with the city's nutritional guidelines. So McDonald's is selling Happy Meals without toys—and selling the toys as an add-on for an extra 10 cents.

Before the ban, McDonald's customers could buy the toy for $2.18 without having to buy a Happy Meal. That option no longer exists: Parents must buy the Happy Meal to access the 10-cent toy option. That means San Francisco's law is likely to result in the sale of more unhealthy children's meals—and make more money for McDonald's, SF Weekly notes. The extra 10 cents will go to Ronald McDonald House charities.

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Showing 3 of 92 comments
Dec 1, 2011 9:52 AM CST
Great example of how over regulation works. The government, through a wish to run peoples' lives pass a law against freedom. Companies now have to sidestep the law to give people what they want. Now we have an inefficient, administrative heavy method of moving goods and services to people. People still get what they want, but now have to waste time with separate transactions. The company has to install a separate bureaucracy to appease the law. So now delivery of the item is more expensive and less efficient than if government would stay out of peoples lives in the first place.
Dec 1, 2011 12:40 AM CST
It's unwise for a corporation to create a spiteful situation and oppose the will of a local government. They should have created a coupon for buyers of happy meals that would have entitled the buyer of a toy to a substantial discount and kept the toys on sale at the regular price.
Nov 30, 2011 11:45 PM CST
Law-makers (both parties) are ALWAYS friggin pathetic at guessing the unintended consequences of laws. Much too much faith in a law fixing everything. The simplest end-run around the law - as here - couldn't even be anticpated by this cabal of Einsteins.