Last week, McDonald's made headlines when roughly 15,000 Osaka residents lined up for the opening of the Midosuji Suomachi Quarter Pounder only store in Chuo-ku, Osaka. But now, the number one fast food chain is admitting that around 1,000 people were hired and compensated to line up outside of the store.
"We didn't ask the company to make the people line up," explained a spokesperson for McDonald's Japan. "We didn't intentionally do it."
McDonald's maintains that it hired the marketing company to conduct research on the hamburger, and that the marketing company requested part-time workers from a staffing company, describing the duties as "Easy work, just waiting in line to buy a new product and eating it."
The so-called customers included the first 20 to 30 people in line who waited for the store to open beginning at midnight the night before, and these hires were paid 1,000 yen, or approximately $11 an hour, to wait in line.
All things considered, the Quarter Pounder store did exceedingly well. Excluding those paid to queue for the burger, the shop managed to draw in 14,000 customers on opening day. Does this marketing effort seem outrageous to you?