McDonald’s to old people: You can’t sit here for hours, get out!


A group of elderly men and women like to sit and chat inside a McDonald’s in Flushing, N.Y. It’s not unlike a scene you may find at your local McDonald’s. Sometimes they sit for hours at a time telling stories, without ordering much more than a single order of fries.

But this McDonald’s has had enough. There is a sign in the restaurant that tells customers they have 20 minutes to finish their food.

Employees routinely call the police to remove the socializing men and women after other customers ask for refunds and complain about the lack of seating.


“It’s a McDonald’s,” Martha Anderson, the location’s general manager told the New York Times. “Not a senior center.”

Four calls have been made to the local police since November to remove the group, which has been coming to the restaurant for more than five years. But as soon as the police leave, some of the elderly group return.

The police summary reads: “Large group -- males, females -- refusing to get up and leave. ... The group passed a lot of sit-down time. Refusing to let other customers sit.”

“I’m sure you can imagine any business would find this situation to be difficult when customers prevent other customers from enjoying the restaurant,” said Jack Bert, McDonald’s franchisee in an email. “We continue to work to resolve this situation and create an environment so customers who wish to enjoy this restaurant have the ability to do so.”

Do you think McDonald’s is right to ask them to leave? Or should they let the people congregate? Let us know in the comments below.

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[Updated Jan. 15, 2014 at 2:25 p.m. to include comment from McDonald’s.]