Kids' Meal Promotional Toy Ban in San Francisco Begins Today
Businesses in San Francisco have already found a way around the city's ban on fast food toy giveaways. The Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance, which goes into effect today, prevents restaurants from giving away promotional toys with kids' meals. McDonald's responded this morning by changing its policy in the city, allowing parents to buy the toys for $0.10 with the purchase of a Happy Meal.
"While we will fully comply with this law, we also have a responsibility to give our customers what they want," said Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald's, in a press statement. "Parents have told us they'd still like the option of purchasing a toy separately for their child when they buy them a Happy Meal."
In November 2010, San Francisco's board of supervisors passed the Healthy Meal Incentive Ordinance by an 8-3 vote, which banned toy giveaways with children's meals unless those meals meet San Francisco's nutritional standards. Aimed at fast food restaurants serving kid's meals, which almost universally fail to meet San Francisco's higher-than-average standards, the ordinance's goal was to prevent businesses from using promotional toys to attract children and families.
McDonald's has said that all proceeds from the toys will go to the San Francisco branch of the Ronald McDonald House, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and families. Part of that money will go to building a Ronald McDonald House at the new University of California, San Francisco hospital, currently under construction.
Immediately following McDonald's announcement, fast food chain Burger King revealed a similar plan to allow customers to buy a toy for an additional $0.10 with the purchase of a kids' meal.