A McDonald’s owner in Queens, New York, became frustrated at the common sight of elderly Koreans sitting in her store for long hours, sharing only a small pack of French fries worth $1.39 among a group.
“It’s McDonalds, not a senior center,” said general manager Martha Anderson in an interview with the New York Times. She complained the elderly are driving business away as they take up the few seats available, and that there have been requests for refunds by other customers unable to find a seat.
The problem has escalated to the extent that police are routinely called over to remove those overstaying their welcome. Officers reportedly stop by up to three times a day, though the elderly customers tend to come back later even after being forced to leave.
“They ordered us out. So I left. Then I walked around the block and came right back again,” said a 77-year-old identified by his surname Lee.
The fast food branch responded with signs reading, “Customers have 20 minutes to finish their food.” on their walls to discourage loitering.
By Yoon Ha-youn and news reports