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Should McDonald’s Stay Open on Christmas Day?

Joe Raedle, Getty Images

Like many businesses, McDonald’s for the most part stays closed on Christmas Day. Some restaurants will open Christmas, like Denny’s for example, who will open at 8 am at their Tri-State locations.

It was reported today, however, that McDonald’s USA COO Jim Johannesen is encouraging franchises to stay open this year on Christmas Day. According to Johannesen, franchises that stayed open last year averaged around $5,500 in sales. The decision to be open or closed on Christmas and Thanksgiving is pretty much left up to the individual franchise owners.

Business analysts saythat people will certainly not rely on McDonald’s for their primary meal, but will probably use the Golden Arches while traveling to their Christmas Day destination, which is potentially a huge market.

The question here is a pretty fundamental one: Is Christmas one of those holidays that employees should be able to count on to spend time with their families? Most people, I suspect, would say yes. The notion of opening a restaurant that would normally be closed might be considered greedy by employees causing them to feel like they are not valued.

Target learned that lesson this past Thanksgiving when they announced a 9pm Thanksgiving night opening to get a jump on Black Friday shopping. Target employees affected by this changed were less than amused and some even circulated petitions to keep the move from happening, which it did in spite of the petitions.

To be fair, McDonald’s is not the only fast food chain to be open on Christmas, but with the exception of some McDonald’s locations, most are usually closed on Christmas so, this would be a big change if all or most were open this year.

As with most everything it seems, the biggest issue here of course is money. It is no secret that McDonald’s took a sizable financial hit over the last year or so, which already puts this idea in a negative light. Some are even calling it an act of desperation, but that might be a bit of a stretch.We’ll see what happens.

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