Ho ho humbug? McDonald's is pushing its franchisees to stay open on Dec. 25, with a memo sent by corporate last month calling Christmas Day "our largest holiday opportunity," according to Ad Age. It estimates that the 6,000 restaurants that stayed open on Thanksgiving brought in about $36 million in extra sales—which comprised one percentage point of the slumping company's 2.5% bump in November sales. "Our [positive] November results were driven, in part, by our Thanksgiving Day performance," a second memo acknowledges.
"We capitalized on the opportunity to be open while our customers were on the road—and those customers rewarded us." Just what kind of "reward" can a franchisee expect to reap on Christmas? Last year, the average company-owned restaurant pulled in $5,500 in sales. But any workers who help keep those doors open may find no present under their tree: A McDonald's rep explains that "when our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay."