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McResource, McDonald’s employee site that offered finance advice, gets McMurdered

Late last month, McDonald’s finally shut down its McResource website for employees, which collapsed under the weight of approximately a billion metric tons of Internet snark. The fry that broke the camel’s back? Advising employees not to eat too much fast food because it’s bad for your health.

A lot of the criticism of the site centered around its financial advice, which seemed to be aimed at helping workers scrape out the best possible lifestyle for a person making $7.25 an hour, but frequently missed the mark. The site first gained media attention for an article on budgeting; it featured a sample budget that had to add salary from a second job and leave out gasoline and heating costs [3] in order to balance out.

Other McResource gems:

Some of the advice offered by the site isn’t terrible taken in isolation, but when you consider it’s being offered by an employer whose wages are so low they virtually guarantee employees will suffer financial insecurity, it came off as cruel and callous.

A more honest version of McResource would look something like this:

Yes, the central problem with the financial advice offered by McResource, and all financial advice really, is that at a certain point, no amount of cost-cutting is going to get you closer to financial security. Sometimes the only answer is: “Make more money somehow [4].”

If you’re interested in finding out how much the average restaurant worker makes in your area, and how far below a living wage (i.e., the minimum amount you need to have what Americans consider a decent standard of living) that number typically falls, MIT has a handy calculator [5].

What do you think? Did McDonald’s do the right thing by taking the website down? Should they pay workers more and keep the advice to themselves?

(Photo: Greg Willis [6])