Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Must Burger King Be Open On Christmas Day?

(12/25/09-Blogger’s Note—As of 11 AM central time on Christmas Day, over 200 people have visited this post. Most all of them have done so by asking a search engine question about if Burger King is open Christmas Day. So I can’t deny that some folks do want Burger King open on Christmas. Are the folks asking this question working themselves today? If they go to Burger King, will they thank the staff for working on the holiday? Maybe even offer a tip? My own view remains that places should be closed on Christmas Day and that workers should get a paid holiday. Thanks.)

(12/24/11–Blogger’s Note–This is still a very popular post.)

Must this Burger King on Houston’s Harrisburg Blvd. be open on Christmas Day?

Don’t you imagine that the people who work at Burger King would like to be home on Christmas Day?

I don’t figure they are going to staff the place with Jewish folks and Muslims.

I suppose if Burger King is paying workers maybe three or four times normal pay to work Christmas—That would at least be something.

I doubt that is how much the staff will be paid.

All work has value and work done by employees at Burger King is honorable employment.

I know people need money and want all the hours scheduled on the job that they can get.

I know some folks may not have money for a fancy holiday dinner.

Yet, must so many places be open all the time?

When do people have the chance to rest and reflect?

You see it is snowing in the picture.

It snows in Houston every few years. It snowed a few days ago.

The snow gives the Burger King sign a festive holiday look.

No–Not really.

And there will be no festive holiday for folks at Burger King on Christmas Day.

December 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. That’s pretty close to the Ship Channel. I’m sure there are lots of people who have to work at the Port simply for safety reasons. Maybe enough of them will be driving by to keep BK going.

    Comment by Bacopa | December 7, 2009

  2. I can understand why the port needs to be open. But I just can’t imagine that the Burger King needs Xmas day business to keep it going.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 7, 2009

  3. I wish there were something besides walgreens, the movie theatres and the zoo open here in San Antonio today, December 25th…..I’ve been googling for things to do today for the past two hours…..NOTHING is going to be open. As if the holiday weren’t depressing enough…..my boyfriend and I are here all alone. We couldn’t afford to fly home (1,000 miles away) for the christmas. We just moved here this spring and don’t know anyone. I’m a server at a casual dining restaurant and if it were open today, I’d gladly work – just to have something to do. I’m all for pausing life, relaxing and reflecting – but seriously, it’d be nice to be able to get some groceries so we can make some sort of dinner.

    Comment by Keith | December 25, 2009

  4. Has it ever occured to you that during the course of Xmas day, someone might be out and about somewhere, hungry, and very happy that Burger King is open? They wouldn’t be open if there weren’t customers.

    Comment by Bob | December 25, 2009

  5. Keith—Thanks for your comment. It just seems to me that the grocery store was open all the days leading up to Christmas for folks to get something to make for Christmas dinner. Surely there are books you and yours can be reading or a walk to take or something you can come up with.

    Bob–I don’t think missing a Whopper for a few hours in Christmas Day is going to really impact people’s lives.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 25, 2009

  6. I worked at McDonald’s on Christmas day, I volunteered, I was a teen and it didn’t bother me at all. Some people get up at 5 am and had Christmas like my family, so it was all over by the noon opening. Holidays are a lonely time for many, not everyone has someone cooking their Christmas dinner you mentioned. If they need the comfort food of a whopper let them have it. If people didn’t need the work and people didn’t want a whopper, Burger King would not be open.

    Comment by DJ | December 25, 2009

  7. DJ—Okay. Please let me ask this—Are all the staff at Burger King and McDonald’s volunteers on Christmas Day? And is time-and-a-half pay always extended for working this holiday?

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 25, 2009

  8. We did get time 1/2 for working on the holiday at McDs, but pay like that is set by the franchisee I believe, I wouldn’t be able to speak for BK.

    Fingers crossed that most of the BK employees volunteered, and that they have a nice slow day to hang out and get paid for it.

    BTW I’m in IT now at an oil refinery, and yes one of us has to work xmas day because refineries are 24/7 365. Luckily it isn’t me this year and I get to sit down and enjoy your blog, even though I’m craving some BK now 😉

    Comment by DJ | December 25, 2009

  9. DJ—I’m glad you have the day off. Please be safe and visit the blog again. I wager there is indeed a Burger King open to meet your craving.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 25, 2009

  10. Movie theaters are open on Christmas day. Where is the outrage for all those kids?

    Comment by Oliva | December 25, 2009

  11. There are lots of people who have to work on Christmas. In the military, well at least on submarines, which is what I did, we just have people standing shorter watches, etc. The people with families are given the best watches, and we try not to require guys with families (that is to say, their own wife and kids) to be on the boat standing watch at, you know “unreasonable times”.

    I am a Deist, and don’t believe in Christmas per se, though I am not specifically against it or any other organized religion. If I owned a restaurant, I would open on that day, although I would require employees to be there for only, say, 3 hours at a time, but pay them double, and as if they were there for 8 hours. So instead of getting 3 * 8 = $24, they would get 8 * 16 = $128 before taxes (the minimum wage in California, where I live, is $8/hr).

    btw Jack in the Box in my suburb within Silicon Valley is typically open on all holidays.


    Comment by Brian | December 26, 2009

  12. Also, when the boat was at sea, we obviously worked on Christmas, it was just like another day. We had Jews and atheists, and Deists like myself, on the crew as well. Alcohol is normally not allowed to be consumed on US submarines, so we had Martinelli’s sparkling apple cider available in lieu of wine. 🙂 I was on the USS Florida SSBN-728 and USS Asheville SSN-758. I never went underway on the asheville, she was in drydock the whole time I was on the crew (about 9 months). lol


    Comment by Brian | December 26, 2009

  13. I am a RN and in healthcare it is 24/7. I would love to be able to take the holidays off to spend with family or friends, but that is not always possible. I am not a huge Burger King fan, but the fact that they are open is a blessing for those who have to work on the holidays. I have heard many comments from patients such as “why did you have to work or nobody should have to work on a holiday”. I remind them then who would take care of you, doctors and nurse and supoort staff, protect you such as fire and police and EMS, pharmacies, etc. It is a nice sentiment, but not realistic.

    Comment by Lisa | December 26, 2009

  14. Brain, it’s nice that you would like pay your hypothetical restaurant employees double time for 8 hours but only work 3. But I’m afraid the profit margins in the restaurant industry are too thin to even offer time and a half. Besides, while a teenage or college aged server or busser (whose parents will be outraged if they are forced to work) might normally work a 3-5 hour shift, for your adult cooks, dishwashers and hostesses (stuck in a dead end job for the rest of their lives with no real benefits beyond their paycheck) a normal shift is 12+ hours.

    So while it’s nice to think that you would staff the day in three hour shifts for everybody that is entirely impossible. And if it is, while on a normal day let’s guess about half is needed to staff the day, on christmas you will need everyone on the payroll and then some to come in for a 3 hour shift. Face it, for you (but you don’t mind), at least one of your managers, your top two cooks, your top dishwasher, your top three servers and your top hostess, Christmas will be just another day — business as usual. It is very painful when a day is just another day for you, but you know that it really is not and you’ll never get the time missed with your family back — and worst of all you work at a non-essential job that could have easily closed.

    You don’t mind working, which is all well and fine. We do need people to work on the holidays and the more who are volunteering to do so the better. But I’m gonna make the guess that 50% of everyone falls into the category of It Is Very Depressing To Work On Christmas And I Am Missing The Biggest Family Celebration Of The Year That Only Happens Today And Easter Unless Someone Is Getting Married. I’ll make the guess that another 30% fall in the category of I’m Missing Something And Would Really Prefer To Not Be Working Right Now.

    So I counted eight people you will not be able to give a choice whether or not they work. Your two cooks and dishwasher will be working 12 hour shifts and miss the entire day, your top servers and hostess will be working at least 8, your manager at least 8-12, and if you expect a single person to show up and work for you that day you’d better plan on being there from before open to after close. Now by my estimation only 1 of these 8 employees would willingly come to work by their own choice…maybe 2.

    Again, don’t even entertain the idea you can get away with working everyone 3 hour shifts. It’s not possible. And like I said, if you were going to go that route you would need everyone on the payroll to show up for a shift that day.

    And you know how you get everyone to show up for work? “You want that paycheck the other 364 days of the year? Then you damn well better be here Christmas to make me money.” Is it capitalism at work and you just have to suck it up and come to work if you want a job that day? Yeah it is.

    It is also an abuse of labor.

    It’s the way of the world and unfortunately many people every year will have to work Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving even though they’re just in restaurants or retail. It’s too bad that there are many employers who do force their employees to work these days. And let’s not pretend that these people have a choice in the matter when they chose to sign up for the job they did. There are only so many essential services where one truly chooses a vocation where the must work. Restaurants and retail stores are vocations to very few among those who work there. In taking a job in these brutal industries the only choice most of these workers are making is between unemployment our a paycheck.

    It is simply a shame that so many employers abuse the fact that their employees depend on them to survive to keep their stores running (I guarantee you most of the owners aren’t working that day). It is a shame that so many people enable these places to be open by depending on others be there to serve them on Christmas at (literally) the drop of a dime, and believe that access to money makes them worthy to be served 365 days a year.

    But then that’s what Jesus was born and died for in the first place. Because to all too many of us, to have money is to have the world in the palm of your hand — which is only the work of Satan. But to those of us who truly believe and put our faith in God, we know this is not true. God is our provider, and money is not as important as it always seems. This world is ruled by Satan but belongs to God, and one day He will take back the earth, resurrect the faithful, and banish the followers of Satan eternally.

    I’m fairly positive greedy restauranteers will be among the banished.

    Comment by Matthew | June 8, 2010

  15. Matthew–Excellent. Thank you.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | June 11, 2010

  16. I think that Christmas was fun as a young child, butthe true meaning is’nt being observed by many people, and when family have deceased and other family members dont get along with each other, its time to live life as if it was a day as usual, people should eat where they want and if Burger King is the place, than so be it.

    Comment by Greg | December 25, 2010

  17. Matthew — well, I would argue that if a sufficient number of people are not willing to work that day, I would not open the restaurant. But if a submarine, which is vital to national security, can run on a skeleton crew, then a restaurant can as well. It is a Burger King, after all, and they probably have written procedures on how everything is to be made; you probably don’t have to be a gourmet cook to operate the kitchen. On submarines, to remain on the crew, you have to learn all the ship systems, including the basic physics behind their operation, and be able to do most basic things, including all disaster response (we all are firefighters on subs). I’ve never worked at a fast food place, but I would think they would want to crosstrain people in the same way, for similar reasons.

    There are lots of people who don’t believe in Christianity or Christmas and are willing to work that day. And Burger King obviously finds profit in being open, or they wouldn’t do it.

    It is not a matter of having food for “Christmas dinner”. What if you’re like me, and you don’t believe in Christmas, yet, you still need some kind of food that day? What if you had to work that day and you need food afterword? What if you’re not a cook, and have no one else to spend the day with?

    Have you guys ever considered what people do on Christmas if they’re not believers? This is a SECULAR country; a country that does not require people to be a certain religion, unlike, say, Saudi Arabia, where you are required to be a Muslim in order to be a citizen, and you are required by law to answer the call to prayer.

    America is not like that. You can be a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or an atheist, and still be a citizen. None of those people celebrate Christmas, guys. It is possible that everyone working at that Burger King is an atheist, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or Deist. Or even just a not especially religious Christian.

    Christmas, after all, is a minor holiday in Christianity. The most significant holiday in Christianity is Easter. Christmas just seems the most significant because the gift giving results in a lot of advertising.

    I agree with Greg!!!


    Comment by Brian | December 26, 2010

  18. I have no family around. I also have very little money and no presents to speak of.
    To me it’s just another sunday, and I’m hungry, with nothing here to eat. I would definitely hate to have to work today, but if someones got the grill on, I’m there I got the munchies! I do hope the people working to make my meal will know how gratefull and thankfull I am that they worked today. I pray my local Mc KingWay whatever is open today..

    Comment by Joe | December 25, 2011

  19. Its normally a manager who works. One of my beat friend manages a BK here in KS.

    Comment by david | December 26, 2011

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