Fake news falsely reports that McDonald's will be closing 17,000 restaurants nationwide due to an increase in the minimum wage.


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
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes