McDonald’s and Visa teamed up to produce a household budget plan for minimum-wage workers.
The poor saps who wanted to be helpful made a mistake. They assumed that workers need a second job to make ends meet. So, they put that into the budget. What happened next was predictable: a liberal magazine hammered the company for not knowing how a worker can live on a minimum wage.
Here’s how someone can live on a minimum wage. First, the worker is a teenager or young adult who lives at home or who shares an apartment with roommates. This is what unmarried young adults do.
When you go to McDonald’s or any fast food restaurant, are lots of the workers young? Yes?
Then there is a budget for a wife who is working. Are most fast food workers male or female? Female? There is a reason for that.
Does McDonald’s pay enough money to attract smiling, fresh-faced, courteous employees? Yes? That must mean that the company pays enough to attract good workers. Do liberal magazines run stories with titles such as this: “McDonald’s Pays Competitive Wages”? No? I wonder why this is.
A good way for McDonald’s to avoid hatchet job articles in liberal magazines is to avoid public relations snafus like this one: teaming up with Visa to create recommended household budgets. McDonald’s is in the business of selling food to customers. It should not be in the business of helping Visa to get more publicity for its credit card business.
In any large organization, there is always some middle manager who does not know what he is doing. Someone had what he thought was a good idea. It wasn’t. Nobody in senior management intervened and said: “Scrap this project. It will backfire.”
Companies should focus on what they do best. Helping employees budget their money is not one of them.