Shady Secrets McDonald’s Doesn’t Want You to Know

McDonald’s may be one of the most popular fast food restaurants in America, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its fair share of dirty secrets. Read on to find out the shadiest secrets McDonald’s doesn’t want its customers to know about.

1. The real reason behind the self-serving kiosks

woman using a McDonald's kiosk

McDonald’s might be trying to avoid paying employees where minimum wage is getting higher. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

You might have noticed the self-serve kiosks popping up at various McDonald’s locations. Grunge says it’s because McDonald’s doesn’t want to pay employees in states where the minimum wage is getting higher. So in places, such as Los Angeles, where the minimum wage will be $15 an hour, you might see more self-serve kiosks than employees.

Next: McDonald’s is a little sue-happy.

2. It’ll sue anyone who tries to run a business that starts with ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’

McDonald's yellow and red drive-thru logo

It has dibs on Mc and Mac. | TonyBaggett/iStock/Getty Images

Trademarking and copywriting your business’ name is an important part of keeping your brand identity. But McDonald’s takes things to a whole new level. The huge corporation will even go after tiny little knock-off burger joints located in small Colombian villages.

Next: The truth behind the “healthy options” 

3. The salads and oatmeal are unhealthier than the burgers

Mcdonald Salad

They contain more calories and sugar. | Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Even the kale salad isn’t healthy. “McDonald’s new kale salad is the most outrageous offender, with more calories, fat, and sodium than a Double Big Mac burger,” says CNBC. And the oatmeal isn’t any better. With trimmings, such as cream and brown sugar, McDonald’s “healthy breakfast” option clocks in at 290 calories with 32 grams of sugar.

Next: No holiday overtime for employees 

4. It doesn’t pay workers overtime on holidays

McDonald's Reports Second Quarter Earnings and Record Sales Reflecting Revitalization Progress

It treats holidays like any other day. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

McDonald’s didn’t always used to be open on days, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. But in 2012, that changed. “McD’s flat-out refuses to pay them extra for working on a day that, as far as many are concerned, should only be worked by those who deal in emergencies,” according to Grunge.

Next: It cheats on taxes.  

5. McDonald’s didn’t pay all of its taxes

McDonald's Stock Down After Q2 Profit Misses Expectations

The company found some loopholes. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

According to Golden Dodges: How McDonald’s Avoids Paying Its Fair Share of Tax, between 2009 and 2013, the fast food corporation avoided paying over $1.8 billion in taxes. Thanks to a series of shady loopholes and profits shifting, the company got away with not paying the taxes it owed for several years.

Next: You won’t believe how many cows go into one patty.

6. You could be eating up to 100 different cows in 1 burger


All the meat gets mixed. | William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

You might think by eating a burger you’re just eating part of one cow, but such is not the case. With the way McDonald’s handles its slaughtering, all of the meat gets mixed together prior to being formed into patties. “It’s done so haphazardly that a single beef patty may contain the meat of up to 100 different cows,” according to Grunge.

Next: You’re eating a mummified burger. 

7. The burgers don’t decompose

McDonalds Big Mac

A food blogger ran an experiment with gross results. | Spflaum1/iStock/Getty Images

Different food bloggers have tested the theory that McDonald’s small hamburgers don’t decompose at a normal rate. In 2008, health blogger Karen Hanrahan posted a photo of a McDonald’s hamburger she bought in 1996. After 12 years, it looked pretty much exactly the same.

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