San Francisco's much-publicized Happy Meal Ban, goes in to effect tomorrow, December 1st. By Monday morning, we expect the city of San Francisco to have saved America by eliminating childhood obesity altogether. Except the fast food chain has found a way to dodge that bullet and look good while doing it.
Starting tomorrow, local McDonald's restaurants will begin charging 10 cents per toy to include the little trinkets in your kid's cardboard box of trans fats. The proceeds from the toy sales, meanwhile, will go directly to the company's Ronald McDonald House charity, which is building a new facility to temporarily house families with sick children at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
Scott Rodrick, who owns 10 of the city's 19 McDonald's franchises, explained that the new surcharge will fly just fine under the city's ordinance and the ten cent cost was deemed "fair and reasonable" in a survey of Mickey D's customers. (Customers who, on more than one occasion, have been accused of being quite strapped for cash.) In addition to Rodrick's locations, three others are already on board with the 10-cent fee.
Supervisor Mar, who spearheaded the bill (and defended it on the Daily Show), still thinks the legislation is having an impact on McDonald's menu options: the french fry portions are smaller and they added the choice of apple slices back in the summer, remember. "McDonald's and the others are gradually moving in the direction we want," Mar told the Chronicle, "But I think that we in San Francisco, and Santa Clara County before us, are making them move more quickly than they would have otherwise. But there's still a long way to go."