Wednesday, November 30, 2011

McDonald's: Doing it Wrong

San Francisco's ordinance on free give away toys at fast food restaurants was intended to nudge restaurants to improve the health of their kids meals. The ordinance requires meals that have free toys to meet certain nutritional requirements. The ordinance is a great idea, as the toys are just marketing gimmicks, designed to create brand loyalty with McDonald's.

As this article states, McDonald's, instead of improving their meals, will charge 10 cents for each toy. This will get them around the ordinance and allow them to change meals on their own terms. Still, the pressure from this law got McDonald's to make some changes to the kids meals, such as reducing the portion of fries. But, they are still not healthy. The extra charge will also likely prevent some from buying the toy, as it's not included with that meal.

So it's time to put more pressure on McDonald's, and we have more legal tools that we can use. I want to know why McDonald's has to sell toys. Aren't they in the business of selling food? Why should food establishments sell toys? Why not create a law that states that restaurants cannot sell toys? I'm not yet sure if this is legal, but I would like to find out.
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