Some McDonald’s locations may be redefining the term “fast food.”
A McDonald’s location in Queens, New York is one of a growing number of locations with a strict rule for customers who eat inside the restaurant: Eat up and get out. You have twenty minutes.
Some franchisees say customers who linger way too long are hurting their business, and have forced them to put a time limit on how long anyone spends inside their restaurant.
Some say they’re battling loitering youngsters, and others say it’s senior citizens who linger for hours to chat with each other while nursing a cup of coffee or sharing a bag of fries.
Those lingering customers “prevent other customers from enjoying the restaurant” according to one New York franchisee interviewed by WPIX.
Employees of the Queens location have reportedly called police on those loitering seniors on more than one occasion.
Several other New York franchisees said they, too, had time limits of about a half-hour at their stores.
A similar problem was reported in Kentucky, where a franchisee posted a sign limiting customers to 30 minutes spent inside their McDonald’s location according to WFIE.
It’s a battle that is not necessarily recent or isolated to the U.S.
Residents recently complained that a McDonald’s in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada established a 30-minute time limit for customers.
One blogger questioned why McDonald’s offered premium drinks and free WiFi after seeing a 30-minute time limit sign at a McDonald’s in Michigan.
A Colorado girl was reportedly arrested after police were sent to get groups of teenagers out of a McDonald’s that had a posted time limit.
McDonald’s reportedly targeted “seat hoggers” in 178 locations in Thailand. Customers in the UK were reportedly fined for lingering too long in McDonald’s parking lots as they ate in their cars.