Morning Advantage: McDonald’s Says: Merry Christmas. Get to Work.

After posting U.S. sales growth of 2.5% in November, which has in part been attributed to staying open for Thanksgiving, McDonald’s is urging its franchises to open on Christmas Day. That’s according to an internal memo obtained by Ad Age, from McDonald's USA Chief Operating Officer Jim Johannesen, which reads: "Starting with Thanksgiving, ensure your restaurants are open throughout the holidays…our largest holiday opportunity as a system is Christmas Day.” In the same memo, Johannesen says that "Our November results were driven, in part, by our Thanksgiving Day performance…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."

Maureen Morrison at Ad Age estimates that the move has the potential to bring the chain $84 million. (But the employees who volunteer to work on Christmas won’t be seeing any sort of overtime pay.) Other chains expected to have nearly all of their locations open on Christmas include Denny’s and Jack in the Box. Chains expected to be completely closed? Chili’s and the Cheesecake Factory. And while the McDonald’s employees working on Christmas Day will be “volunteering” to work a holiday shift, a recent HBR post from Zeynep Ton cautions that when you force employees to work on holidays, everyone suffers.


The Web We Lost (Anil Dash)

Social media powers like Facebook, Twitter, and increasingly even Google have subsumed much of the openness and true user-friendliness that once characterized the Web, writes blogging pioneer Anil Dash: "To the credit of today's social networks, they've brought in hundreds of millions of new participants to these networks, and they've certainly made a small number of people rich. But they haven't shown the web itself the respect and care it deserves, as a medium which has enabled them to succeed. And they've now narrowed the possibilities of the web for an entire generation of users who don't realize how much more innovative and meaningful their experience could be." — Justin Fox


Only the Elites Think the Elites Are Important ([email protected] School of Business)

You probably assume that the higher you go in your company, the bigger the impact you’ll have on its results. But it’s the leaders in the hierarchy’s bottom tier who are most important in driving profitability, says Christina Boedker of the Australian School of Business. And these frontline managers’ compassion toward their direct reports makes a huge difference, she says. The single greatest influence on profitability and productivity within an organization is leaders’ focus on developing people, welcoming feedback, and fostering cooperation. — Andy O’Connell


Hint: It’s Not the iPhone

The Most Important Invention of the Last 25 Years (POPSCI)
A Simple Graph Showing the American Manufacturing Worker Is Suddenly an Incredible Bargain (The Atlantic)
Website Helps Keep Censored Journalism Visible (Big Think)

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