Awkward: McDonald’s Gives Tipping Advice; Workers Strike for Wages


Well, there were many ways McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) could have productively responded to its employees in 100 cities walking off the job Thursday, campaigning for 15-an-hour pay, but enlightening them how to tip their own service people via an employee resource website probably wasn’t one of them.

The fast food chain didn’t get the chance to directly educate its employees how to properly tip their au pairs or pool boys this holiday season, but rather, NBC News explained Thursday that the company did so through a posting on its worker resource website where third-party partners routinely provide money management advice for employees. Etiquette guru Emily Post was the writer responsible for the now-deleted suggestions, but before the content was removed, she offered recommendations for McDonald’s gift-givers this holiday season, explaining proper etiquette for tipping the au pair, housekeeper, and/or pool cleaner. The site also listed suggestions for dog walkers, massage therapists, and personal fitness trainers.

It’s at least a little ironic that the post went live the same day that McDonald’s employees walked off the job to fight for livable wages, especially considering the tips post accounted for adding up to hundreds of dollars when many workers make just above minimum wage. NBC News points out that the gifts suggested in the post far overestimate the budget of many McDonald’s employees who only earn $9 an hour, but McDonald’s still found it appropriate to provide suggestions for those workers who could afford them, advising, “What you give, if anything at all, should be dictated by your relationship with the serviceperson, how often you utilize the services, and most importantly, your budget.”