Why McDonald's Employees Can't Accept Tips

For years, McDonald's has led the fast-food world with more sales than any other chain of the same category. According to Visual Capitalist, McDonald's leads the globe in sales, with roughly $40 billion worth of menu items sold in the United States alone in 2019. That's nearly twice as much as second-place Starbucks, whose sales came in around $21 billion.

McDonald's started as the brainchild of two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, though it became even more famous at the hands of another person, namely Ray Kroc. According to the McDonald's website, Kroc stumbled upon the brothers' California restaurant, McDonald's, and in 1955, he partnered with them to turn it into the massive chain that it is today.

McDonald's quickly expanded, and within six years, Kroc had purchased the rights to the McDonald's name. Today, it's the global head of fast food. Still, despite its revolutionary success, McDonald's employees can't collect tips in the same way traditional restaurant workers can.

McDonald's employees cannot accept tips

Though it's customary to tip employees at restaurants, fast food restaurants don't operate with table service in the way that sit-down spots do. And according to Reddit, it looks like McDonald's employees are not allowed to keep any tips given to them by customers.

One Reddit user posed the question of whether they can actually "keep the change" when customers hand them too much money. Based on the responses, the answer is no.

"In all the stores I've worked at (U.K. store by the way) keeping the change is never allowed no matter how much it is, it's classed as bad as theft," one Reddit user wrote. They added that employees are supposed to add any extra money to the store's charity boxes.

"No, it is against policy and the law," another person wrote, though Mashed could not verify whether it's actually illegal to keep the change when instructed by the customer to do so.

Regardless, it does appear to be against the McDonald's policy, so those customers thinking about leaving a tip for a great employee might want to reconsider.