Nothing Says Christmas Like ... McDonald's?

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McDonald's is asking its franchises to keep the doors open on Christmas Day.

Advertising Age magazine obtained a copy of a memo that was sent to franchisees from McDonald's Chief Operating Officer Jim Johannsen:

"Our largest holiday opportunity as a system is Christmas Day," wrote Johannsen. "Last year, [company-operated] restaurants that opened on Christmas averaged $5,500."

Advertising Age also quotes unnamed company insiders who said that approximately 6,000 McDonald's that were open on Thanksgiving Day (the chain has around 14,000 total locations in the United States) accounted for nearly 40 percent of the chain's entire November sales growth.

McDonald's spokeswoman Heather Oldani told Advertising Age that franchisees could elect to pay more to employees for working on Christmas but, "when our company-owned restaurants are open on the holidays, the staff voluntarily sign up to work. There is no regular overtime pay."

The Food Chain Workers Alliance says that the median wage for fast-food workers is $9.65 an hour, and fewer than 14 percent make what the group considers a living wage.

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