McDonald's wants franchises to stay open on Christmas

McDonald's wants franchises to stay open on Christmas

Ad Age: McDonald's is pushing franchisees to stay open on Christmas to lift December sales.

"Starting with Thanksgiving, ensure your restaurants are open throughout the holidays," reads the Nov. 8 memo from McDonald's USA Chief Operating Officer Jim Johannesen. "Our largest holiday opportunity as a system is Christmas Day. Last year, [company-operated] restaurants that opened on Christmas averaged $5,500 in sales."

While that might not seem like much, consider this: In a second memo, dated Dec. 12, Mr. Johannesen pegged average sales for company-owned restaurants, which compose about 10% of its system, at "more than $6,000" this Thanksgiving. People close to the company said that about 6,000 more locations opened their doors this Thanksgiving than did last year. Presuming their sales were on par with company-owned stores, that's about $36 million in additional sales.

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