Working at McDonald’s comes with its fair share of hassles, like low pay and sometimes-rude customers. But now employees have another issue that’s literally on their shoulders: a new uniform that some are criticizing as resembling a bleak dystopian movie.
McDonald’s (MCD) announced the new uniforms earlier this month, saying it developed the two new “uniform collections” on feedback from employees and customers. As many as 850,000 restaurant workers may end up wearing the uniforms’ utilitarian charcoal grey shirts and pants, along with matching aprons and caps.
Social media lit up with comparisons to science-fiction dystopian movies and books, ranging from “The Hunger Games” to the classic 1970s film “Logan’s Run.” Others photoshopped Stormtroopers into promotional images of the new uniforms. With a bit of squinting, those McDonald’s crew members could easily be confused for the crew of the Death Star.
Naturally, that wasn’t McDonald’s goal, with the fast-food giant saying its new uniforms were designed for “comfort, fit, functionality and contemporary professionalism,” according to a statement from Jez Langhorn, McDonald’s senior director of human resources. Dystopias were not mentioned as inspiration for the new threads.
“[I]t’s another step in the company’s continuous effort to raise the bar by investing in people and improving the restaurant experience with a focus on hospitality,” Langhorn wrote.
McDonald’s said 7 out of 10 employees said they like the modern image, Fortune reported. A few consumers chimed in with approval, but even the praise was muted.
As one Twitter user wrote, “I like the new McDonald’s uniforms, but I’m a pretty bleak person myself.”