Following repeated backlash over the advice handed out on its McResource website, McDonald’s has officially taken the page down altogether.
The McResource website was intended to help employees manage stress, health, and financial issues, but had come under fire multiple times over the past few months. Most recently, the website told employees to avoid eating fast food, causing a chain reaction of scorn and ridicule across the internet. The website even labeled a meal that looked very much like a typical McDonald’s offering – a hamburger, French fries, and a cola – as an “unhealthy choice.”
When the post began spreading around on social networking sites, McDonald’s told the third party company in charge of managing the site to take it down. It will still offer employees advice via its telephone hotline.
"We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald's employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts,” said Lisa McComb, a spokeswoman for McDonald's USA, according to CNBC.
“A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we've directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald's team members.”
Whether or not this constitutes a permanent removal of the website is unclear. A visit to the McResource website simply brings up a page that says,” We’ll Be Back soon!”
"We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible,” the site reads. “Please excuse us while these upgrades are being made."
In addition to warning employees of the negative consequences of fast food, the website has also been criticized in the past for telling workers to break up their food into smaller pieces in order to get full on less. It has also advised employees to sell unwanted possessions on Craigslist or eBay, as well as to lower blood pressure by singing to their favorite songs.
Even the telephone hotline has come under fire. In October, one woman called seeking financial assistance. In response, the operator told her to seek out food pantries and enroll in federal programs like food stamps and Medicaid. A recent survey found that 52 percent of families employed by fast food companies are enrolled in at least one public assistance program.
Earlier this month, fast food workers in more than 100 American cities walked out of their jobs in protest, demanding a $15 minimum wage.