Claim: The McDonald’s fast food chain will be closing 17,000 locations due to an increase in the minimum wage.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2015]
Is McDonald’s closing 17,000 stores because of the $15.00 minimum wage?
Origins: On 28 October 2015, the web site Now 8 News published an article reporting that 17,000 McDonald’s locations would be closing by 1 April 2016 due to a recent increase in the minimum wage:
The largest chain of fast food restaurants in the world has announced that the minimum wage increase from $8.75 an hour to $15 an hour has caused them to schedule the close 17,000 restaurants in the United States. With already decreasing profits, McDonald says this is the “straw that broke the camels back.”
The above-quoted story is a piece of fiction. The United States minimum wage, as established by federal law, is still $7.25 per hour (although some cities have approved a gradual raising of their minimum wages to $15 an hour), and McDonald’s has not announced that they will be closing 17,000 stores due to any wage increases. Now 8 News is one of many fake news sites that attempts to attract traffic through the frequent publication of false rumors under clickbait headlines.
This isn’t the first time that a fake news story has used “McDonald’s response to a $15 minimum wage” as its basis. The equally disreputable News Examiner posted a fake news story claiming that the restaurant chain would start using a robotic staff to avoid paying their employees $15 per hour.
Last updated: 4 November 2015
Originally published: 4 November 2015