The idea came up after finding that a 2.5% sales growth in the month of November was linked to the earnings of the locations that were open on Thanksgiving Day.
"Starting with Thanksgiving, ensure your restaurants are open throughout the holidays," reads the Nov. 8 memo from McDonald's USA Chief Operating Officer Jim Johannesen. "Our largest holiday opportunity as a system is Christmas Day. Last year, [company-operated] restaurants that opened on Christmas averaged $5,500 in sales."
Even though the sum might seem insignificant, that is not the case when you take into account the number of locations McDonald's would keep open during the holiday. According to a memo dated Dec.12, Johannesen states that the 6,000 additional locations that remained open this Thanksgiving (in comparison to the previous year) had turned over an extra $36 million in sales.
"Our November results were driven, in part, by our Thanksgiving Day performance," Johannesen said in the Dec. 12 memo. "Thanks to proper planning and your great execution, we capitalized on the opportunity to be open while our customers were on the road -- and those customers rewarded us."
With this in mind, Gawker has said that, "McDonald's burger economists have managed to calculate the exact monetary value of Christmas spirit: $5,500. That is how much Ronald McDonald charges to put a hit on Santa Claus."