The Bizarre Rules Behind Playing the Role of Ronald McDonald

Morgan Cutolo
Greg Allen/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock
Greg Allen/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Remember Ronal McDonald, the iconic—somewhat creepy—mascot that you always saw in McDonald’s commercials? The bright red hair and yellow jumpsuit mean a delicious meal and PlayPlace fun to most kids. But the role isn’t as simple as slapping on some makeup and learning how to juggle. There are actually some pretty bizarre rules that the character is required to follow. Check out these mind-blowing facts about McDonald's. One of the most important rules, as with most mascots, is that Ronald is never allowed to reveal his true personality. When he’s in costume, the only name he goes by is Ronald McDonald. The company also likes to pretend that there is only one Ronald. How he appears in multiple countries at the same time on the same day is a secret we may never know. But, because of the image that McDonald’s like to uphold, no two Ronald’s are ever allowed to be spotted together. It doesn’t end there though. McDonald’s has a slew of other rules that the people representing their company must follow. In 1972 Aye Jaye, the “Boss Clown” in charge of overseeing the hiring and training of Ronalds, created a guide called Ronald and How to easily train new employees on the rules. Find out the McDonald's secret menu items you never knew about. Other bizarre rules include:

  • They are never allowed to hug kids. They’re only supposed to pat the child on the back.

  • They have to sign numerous waivers saying that they’ll never reveal what they learned working for the company

  • They have to promote the idea of fun to their customers, they shouldn’t directly promote the food

  • If kids ask, you can’t tell them that burgers come from cows

  • When in character, they’re not allowed to eat McDonald’s food, it could smudge their makeup

  • They have to be fit, or at least have the body type that appears to be fit

  • They have to follow a script when answering questions asked by customers. If they don’t have an answer that fits, they are instructed to say, “ask someone wearing normal shoes.”

It’s not easy being a clown, so if you were thinking about applying for the job of Ronald McDonald to get free fries for life, you might want to rethink your career path. Next, read about the secrets McDonald's employees won't tell you.