McDonald's retreated slightly from its singular campaign to be the worst company in America this week by pulling down its McResources Line website, which recently made headlines for advising employees to avoid unhealthy foods like, for example, burgers, french fries and soda.
CNBC reports that the massive fast food chain, which helped change the American diet by offering, cheap, fatty fare in huge portions, said it decided to remove the site thanks to "unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary."
The site featured advice to employees on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle from a third party, A.D.A.M. Inc. Notably, workers were warned that "fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight." The site showed a suspiciously McDonald's-like spread - consisting of cheeseburger, fries and soda in red packaging--as an unhealthy meal, next to a "healthier choice," of a veggie-loaded sub sandwich, salad and water. Now, the site just shows a cheery "We'll be back soon!" note, explaining that "We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Please excuse us while these upgrades are being made."
McDonald's USA spokeswoman Lisa McComb issued a non-apologetic statement in response to criticism of the site, saying that:
... a combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate [the McResources site] and we've directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary.
McComb added that, "We'll continue to provide service to [employees] through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services," which makes us worry that McDonald's employees, advised to return holiday gifts, take a second job, and apply for food stamps to secure a living wage, can't afford a computer or an Internet connection. McDonald's employees participated in a massive demonstration this summer by fast food workers protesting low wages.
In its defense, McDonald's may just be overcorrecting for wildly inappropriate assumptions of their employees' wealth, made public with an ill-advised tip advice sheet (posted on the same McResources site) suggesting the suitable amount to spend on a holiday bonus for au pairs, pool cleaners and personal trainers. McComb spoke to that blunder as well, saying, "This is content provided by a third-party partner and quotes from one of the best-known etiquette gurus, Emily Post. We continue to review the resource and will ask the vendor to make changes as needed." We bet she's getting sick of saying that.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.