A McDONALD’S boss has been rapped for telling staff to “lose some weight” in order to fit into their work uniforms.
The manager, who is unnamed but works at an Edinburgh branch, wrote an e-mail to male employees deriding their “sloppy” appearance and insisting their top shirt buttons were fastened at all times. He said there were two options: “Buy bigger shirts or lose some weight.”
The e-mail read: “If you need bigger shirts, please reply to this e-mail with your size and I will be more than happy to arrange for bigger shirts to be ordered for you.
“If you don’t reply, I’ll assume your current batch of shirts fits you and there won’t be any need to have any further conversations in store about your appearance.
“As per the employee handbook, failure to meet McDonald’s appearance guidelines may result in disciplinary action being taken.”
An investigation has now been launched by McDonald’s, which said it did not condone the manager’s behaviour and found the e-mail content to be “inappropriate”.
An insider at the fast-food giant said: “You can’t have people in a catering environment walking around looking like they’ve just staggered in following a heavy night out.
“But McDonald’s is a really corporate environment and one where you can’t joke about personal issues or make any sort of remark that people would take offence at. That American culture translates right the way to the shop floor so, even though his heart was in the right place, it’s easy to see why a dim view would be taken of his poor choice of words.”
In a statement, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We do not condone this behaviour and consider the sending of this e-mail and its content to be inappropriate. We have begun an internal investigation and will, if necessary, take disciplinary action.”
It comes after a study found that more than half of Scots rely on ready meals or takeaways at least three times a week and that weight-loss surgery is soaring across the country.
Public health minister Michael Matheson said hospitals and supermarkets must do better in tackling Scotland’s obesity epidemic and vowed to introduce legislation if necessary. Scotland is the world’s second fattest country, with two-thirds of adults classed as overweight or obese.
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian and food spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said ministers should “put their money where their mouth is”.
She said: “Earlier this year I asked ministers what they are doing to encourage retailers to stock smaller portions of snack foods, as recommended in their Route Map published three years ago. They admitted they’re still working on what voluntary action retailers could take.
“Add to that the abysmal failure of the Scottish Government to fulfil its pledge to increase the proportion of spending on walking and cycling, and it is clear our obesity problem will only get worse with such a lack of leadership.”
Top buttons being undone on shirts is now starting to really irritate me. It looks sloppy, unprofessional and gives the impression you don’t care. (if you don’t take pride in your appearance, why would you take pride in your shifts appearance or anyone on it?)
As I see it, if you currently can’t do up your top button, you have two options.
Buy bigger shirts or lose some weight.
If you need bigger shirts, please reply to this email with your size and I will be more than happy to arrange for bigger shirts to be ordered for you.
If you don’t reply, I’ll assume your current batch of shirts fits you and there won’t be any need to have any further conversations in stores about your appearance.
As per the employee handbook, failure to meet McDonald’s appearance guidelines may result in disciplinary action being taken.
If anyone has any issues with this or needs any clarification, please let me know.