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Violence at fastfood chains forces response by McDonald’s April 24, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Trending on the internet over the last month have been various videos depicting violent fights at fast food restaurants in America. The latest video shows an attack on a single woman in a Baltimore McDonald’s by two other females. The victim is beaten for minutes, to the point that she seizures, all while employees record the episode on their phones rather than interfering in the assault. The employee recording the incident has since been fired, and many have advocated calling the assault a hate crime.

How has McDonald’s dealt with the bad publicity? For the most part, the company has been silent. It has released a short statement about the incident, declaring:

We are shocked by the video from a Baltimore franchised restaurant showing an assault. This incident is unacceptable, disturbing and troubling. McDonald’s strives to be a safe, welcoming environment for everyone who visits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of customers and employees in our restaurants. We are working with the franchisee and the local authorities to investigate this matter. We are doing everything possible to make sure the right thing is done.”

The fight mentioned above, though, was just one among a number taking place in a McDonald’s this past month. Another came while the chain decided to hire 50,000 people in one day. For more on that story, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Was McDonald’s really to blame for the violence in and outside of its stores that was depicted in videos passed around on the internet? Why, or why not?

2.  Assuming that McDonald’s was not at fault, why did the violence still warrant a response by the company?

3.  Was the response by McDonald’s sufficient in enhancing its image after the news of the brawls? If not, how could the company have better handled this negative publicity?

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