The last trace of the McDonald's at Rady Children's Hospital
Parents and kids visiting Rady Children’s Hospital may be surprised at a big change in the hospital’s lobby: the McDonald's restaurant inside, which had opened in 1996 next to the emergency room, has closed.
3020 Children's Way, San Diego
“It's always been seen by the kids here as a treat, getting to go to McDonald's after a doctor’s visit,” said a member of the hospital’s surgical staff. The restaurant had a limited menu. “It was just recently that this McDonald's started offering salads and healthier options,” the employee said. Other McDonald's have offered those healthier choices for years.
On June 29, one mom in the lobby, who was last at Children’s about six months ago, said, “This McDonald's was gross. The food was bad, the place was dirty, and the staff was rude. You’d think being at the hospital where the Ronald McDonald House is, maybe the food would be cheaper to help out parents with sick kids. But it was way more expensive than other McDonald's.”
“There were too many complaints,” said the surgical staff employee. “Parent comments get listened to around here.”
Ben Metcalf, the communications manager for Rady Children’s, made it clear in a July 5 email that there was no connection between the huge role the Ronald McDonald House plays at Rady Children’s and the independent franchisee of the McDonald's inside.
Actually, hospital officials started looking for a change two years ago. “Our Family Advisory Council determined that patient families overwhelmingly wanted healthy, affordable, quick service food choices,” Metcalf wrote.
Currently under construction, a Subway will replace the McDonald's; it's expected to open sometime over the summer.
I had to ask... Did the arrest and conviction of former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle, for having child pornography, cause concern? Metcalf replied the hospital ultimately chose Subway “well before the situation with Subway’s former spokesperson.”
Yet, the surgical staff employee questioned the establishment of a Subway, saying, “Their menu is not exactly any better than McDonald's,” and pointed out that Subway’s bread contains lots of sugar. “For example, they have no options for diabetics,” she said.