Criticism Over Posts Leads To Removal Of McDonald's Resource Site
December 27, 2013

Criticism Over Posts Leads To Removal Of McDonald’s Resource Site

Gerard LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

Update: Dec. 27, 2013 @ 6:50 a.m.

McDonald's resource website was designed to help employees deal with a variety of situations like housing, child care, grief, education and more. However, negative comments posted to the site has prompted the fast food giant to temporarily remove it.

According to ABC News, McDonald’s is having the vendor remove the site because of inappropriate content. “Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary,” they stated.

Some of the content that sparked the criticism was a sample budget for employees that contained no money for heating expense and specifying how much to tip personal trainers and pool cleaners. Other content suggested eating fast food was unhealthy. With the high calories and fat it puts people at risk for being overweight.

McDonald’s initially supported the content on the site, but from the overwhelming criticism and media coverage, they have decided to make some changes.

According to The Huffington Post, McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb said, “We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald's employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we've directed the vendor to take down the website.”

Even though the resource website is shut down, McDonald’s still plans to aid its employees with a telephone help line. McComb added, “none of this helps our McDonald's team members. We'll continue to provide service to them through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services.”

According to Reuters, when the site is accessed there is a message that states, “We'll Be Back Soon! 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.”

The content in question was posted to the McResource website by a third party named A.D.A.M. Inc., they are described as being “the most credible source of healthcare information and multimedia visual learning assets for hospitals and healthcare organizations.”

Main Story: Dec. 26, 2013 @ 4:08 a.m.

Fast food giant McDonald’s is offering up some strange advice to employees on its resources website.

According to Katie Little of CNBC, one post reads, “Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.”

Another post touts a submarine sandwich and salad as being a healthy meal and a cheeseburger and fries as unhealthy.

Ryan Gorman of the Daily Mail reports that another post states that eating healthy at a fast-food restaurant is hard, especially with a large portion, you can easily overeat. “It is hard to eat a healthy diet when you eat at fast-food restaurants often. Many foods are cooked with a lot of fat, even if they are not trans fats. Many fast-food restaurants do not offer any lower-fat foods.”

“In general, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease must be very careful about choosing fast food because of its high fat, salt, and sugar levels,” another post stated.

In a statement published by the New York Post, McDonald’s supported the posts. “Portions of this website continue to be taken entirely out of context. This website provides useful information from respected third-parties about many topics, among them health and wellness. It also includes information from experts about healthy eating and making balanced choices. McDonald's agrees with this advice.”

The site itself is designed for employees, but it can be accessed and used by anyone that registers with a username and email address.

During its annual shareholder meeting in late May, McDonald's CEO Don Thompson said, “we don't sell junk food,” endorsing their fast-food menu.

After a CNBC inquiry, a post last month on the site about tipping was removed. The post suggested its workers should tip au pairs, personal fitness trainers and pool cleaners. McDonald’s told CNBC that it screens the site and would, “continue to review the resource and will ask the vendor to make changes as needed.”

More unrest evolved when McDonald’s advised its employees about holiday debt when they said to return unopened purchases. According to Susanna Kim of ABC News, the post read, “you may also want to consider returning some of your unopened purchases that may not seem as appealing as they did. Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.” Also, publishing a budget guide that listed $20 a month for health care and no money for heat added to the discontent.

Other tips that have caused a conflict include, “breaking food into pieces often results in eating less and still feeling full,” and “at least two vacations a year can cut heart attack risk by 50 percent.” These were also defended by McDonald’s.

A statement from a McDonald’s spokeswoman to ABC News said, “This is an attempt by an outside organization to undermine a well-intended employee assistance resource website by taking isolated portions out of context.” The spokesperson was referring to the website statements and posts regarding the advice.

McDonald’s added, “The fact is that the McResource Line is intended to be a free, confidential service to help employees and their families get answers to a variety of questions or provide resources on a variety of topics including housing, child care, transportation, grief, elder care, education and more.”