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I have a difficult time deciding who, if anyone, I should be lending my voice in support of. The problem is, are storefronts private or public property? If they're private, then the owners of the establishment absolutely have the right to throw the septuagenarians out. But if they're public, then what makes a McDonald's customer area soy different from, say, a park bench, that the operators can have them removed? Not to mention, if the elderly are neither upsetting nor obstructing anyone else, why remove them?

I think, in the end, the restaurant owners are going to be in the right if for no other reason than that people have the right to refuse service, at which point the elderly cease to be customers and no longer have sitting priveleges.


They're private.

And let's be real - 20 minutes is plenty of time for a coffee, and more than enough for a split fry! They're not there to buy food (as stated, they eat elsewhere then go to sit) and are losing the store money because people that ARE buying food can't sit!

They're causing trouble for... what, exactly? It's not the only place to sit. I get "we've always sat here!" but saying that when it's always been a problem (as the article suggests) means they started making an issue and now just want to continue it because they're used to it.

Go elsewhere. Sit in the park. Go to the community centers that are empty. Don't spend 12+ hours in a place that depends on the seating to serve people that come in to eat food.

Senior Retail Lady

They ARE causing problems - it said in the write-up that other customers have been asking for their money back because there is nowhere to sit.
Personally, I think that the 'customers' are being assholes. There are a number of other places that they can go, why don't they go to a different one each day? I bet that the owners would be fine if they just came in one day a week.

Sales Agent Guy

I'm sorry, but the fact that they bypass two senior centers and go straight to McDonald's seems more like an act of defiance to me. McDonald's is NOT a social club, it's a restaurant. They could easily get their coffee and then go to the social club, but NO, they just want to sit there all day.

Seriously, I don't care how old they are, they shouldn't be sitting there all day. They're hogging seats that are meant for other customers, and it's just annoying.

NC Tony

Can't the McDonald's just refuse to serve them? From the sound of it, most of them aren't even buying anything anyway, so technically they're trespassing. This is one time I'd have to side with McDonald's. They're going to loose business because people won't go there if these people are taking up seats for paying customers, and they're going to place all the blame on the old folks.


I wonder if they could get rid of them by making the dining room inhospitable? Crank up the music, turn down the thermostat, find someone who has colicky, 1 yr old triplets, etc. Basically, do anything to make it an undesirable place for the septuagenarians to roost then return it to normal once they depart. If they come back, rinse and repeat as necessary. It might not be a perfect solution but it beats calling the cops every day and watching real customers walk out the door. I'd bet it would take no more than 2 weeks of the Jekyll & Hyde routine to be free of the freeloaders.

Imitation Bacon

The McDonalds and a certain number of feet outside the store would be public property. Any rules they post would have to be obeyed. Heck, a store could refuse to serve someone if they didn't like their sweater! It's a tough situations; McDonalds gave them a LOT of leeway, but it still going to end up looking like the bad guy because, well, these are little old people. Who can be sneaky and devious I know, and when they get into a habit, they stick with it. I would feel different if there were not so many other resources for this group. We had a similar issue at my mall; an eatery with tables in a little area next to their counter. It became the hang-out for everyone waiting for family in nearby stores, and a weekly group that would push tables together, spread out religious books and have a sort of bible study while taking up over half the eatery.

Cardboard Cutout

I think they should get a nice plastic sign printed out like my store did. Detail minimum purchases required per peron per hour. We don't enforce the rules usually, but it gives us a leg to stand on so that this never even becomes a habit for people unless they actually order every once in a while.

Joe the Cigar Guy

Imitation Bacon, I saw a similar situation at the local 'Bucks. A small fundamentalist church would push all the tables together and corral all the chairs. They'd sit for hours discussing the Book of Ezekiel. Management told them they were more than welcome to congregate at the outside tables, as elderly patrons wanted to sit indoors. An agreement was reached and peace reigned.
Compare that to the self-entitled jackass who routinely commandeers several tables at the Panera in the mall to put his coat, personal papers, laptop, iPod and bare feet (!) The worst part is that he purchases absolutely nothing during his "visits" and frequently falls asleep.


Isn´t it possible to ban the people totally from the restaurant.

To me it seems abusive.

If these stubborn people or their relatives have a restaurant themselves and other guests abuse the seats for a warming room they will send fire, hell, yakuza, chinese triads or what else to the guests.


McDonald's is a cheap restaraunt not a flop house or club house. Eat and get out. There are lots of places in most towns to gather for social time.

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