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McWonderful in a crunch

Posted by Paul Seaman in Food / Money / The Good Corporation on 7 August 2008

Why we posted this: McDonald’s may be recession-proof – and may even be outliving the snobbery which has surrounded the firm for decades.

The original story:
McDonald’s adds 4,000 new UK jobs
BBC Online news
6 August 2008

The basics of the story:
Fast-food chain McDonald’s has launched a recruitment drive to add 4,000 jobs in its UK restaurants to meet increasing demand for its meals. While some service sector firms are cutting jobs, McDonald’s said it needed to increase its workforce to cater for two million more customers a month.

livingissues comment:
For most people, budget and lifestyle both come into their dining decisions. Thankfully, most of us exist in more than one social reality. Plenty of us grab a cheap fast-food bite one day, and linger over a pricey slow-food pasta the next. And yet some people seem to define McDonalds as the end of civilisation.   

There are obvious differences between fast food and haute cuisine. Craft, price and skill come into it. But carbohydrate, fat, protein and vitamins bring pretty much the same benefits (and risks) regardless of the form they’re served up in.

Top chefs are rare.  That’s why they become celebrities and command top wages. Meanwhile, nobody knows the name of the relatively low-paid cooks at the local McDonald’s. Its customers, however, know exactly how their meal will taste before they eat there.  Repeat visits to McDonald’s are not about experimentation, as they might be with celebrity chefs.

So, McDonald’s is hiring 4,000 staff at a time of economic gloom, and we can celebrate. It suggests that McDonald’s is also right to hope the Oxford English Dictionary may revise its definition of “McJob”. Certainly, the current definition insults millions of customers who eat there, while degrading the tens of thousands of staff who serve them.

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