McDonald's Eyes Christmas Day as Sales Opportunity: Report

Report says fast food joint's cooperate leadership has been pushing for franchisees to open on Christmas

Looking to fulfill that McRib craving this Christmas? Well, there could be a McDonald’s store open near you on Dec. 25.

Christmas, traditionally a day when many businesses close, could be McDonald's best chance to make some extra money this year, meaning more stores than ever could be open.

Marketing and media news agency Advertising Age reports that an internal memo from McDonald’s USA CEO Jim Johannesen went out to McDonald’s franchise owners on Nov. 8 that stated Christmas Day is “our largest holiday opportunity as a system.”

That system includes thousands of stores, only about 10 percent of those stores are company owned, the rest are franchises, according to Ad Age.

In the past many of those stores were closed for Christmas, but in recent years more stores have opened.

AdAge mentioned another memo, dated Dec. 12, that spoke of the gains of opening on holidays.

Mr. Johannesen pegged average sales for company-owned restaurants…  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.


"Our November results were driven, in part, by our Thanksgiving Day performance," said Mr. Johannesen in the Dec. 12 memo. "Thanks to proper planning and your great execution, we capitalized on the opportunity to be open while our customers were on the road -- and those customers rewarded us."

AdAge says McDonald's could be in line to make up to $84 million on Christmas if every one of its 14,000 U.S. stores opens on Christmas. Each franchisee decides if they will open on Christmas.

McDonald's spokeswoman Heather Oldani released this statement to NBC10:

“There are many different traditions that our customers and employees celebrate during the holiday season.  Like other retailers, we respond to our customers’ needs for convenience by being open when they need and want us, including the holidays.  For McDonald’s restaurants, our employees are given the opportunity to voluntarily work these holiday hours, are compensated for working these hours and rewarded for their service.

The majority of McDonald’s restaurants across the country are owned and operated by independent business men and women -- some of whom have opted to open their restaurants during the holidays.”

According to AdAge, the workers who do volunteer to work on Christmas at company-owned restaurants won’t receive overtime.

Basically, it’s possible that you may be able to pick up a Big Mac to eat at the Christmas table this year. But, if you really have that craving, or just can’t wait until Dec. 26 to pick up a McRib sandwich, you should call first to make sure they’re open.

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