The Troubling Reason One UK McDonald's Banned Unaccompanied Minors After 5 Pm

A McDonald's location in Liverpool has temporarily banned unaccompanied minors after 5 p.m. That's a pretty random-sounding restriction, so what's going on? According to reps from McDonald's, there has been ongoing inappropriate behavior in the area and officials are hoping that this temporary ban will curb the problems, per Liverpool Echo. The new policy is in reaction to groups of teens allegedly behaving rambunctiously and abusing employees both verbally and physically. 

A McDonald's spokesperson explained, "'We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to crime and anti-social behavior." It's good to see McDonald's looking out for the well-being of its employees. The solution is temporary as McDonald's works for a long-term solution. 

The Express notes that other citizens have weighed in on the matter, some saying that unaccompanied minors should be banned from the entire City Center area after 5 p.m. Some expressed sympathy because they felt that a few bad apples are ruining the ability of other young people to hang out at the restaurant. Readers of the Liverpool Echo had similar reactions. Some described the teens' behavior as "shocking" and "a nightmare" while another reader found the policy "unfair" to non-disruptive teens but understandable.

Broken windows and airborne food

The policy has caused some confusion for security guards tasked with upholding the new restrictions. For instance, one told a man that he was not allowed into McDonald's at night, but the customer replied with confusion because he was over 20 years old, per Liverpool Echo. McDonald's security guards definitely aren't used to checking IDs like bouncers at the door of a club, so we wouldn't be surprised if it takes them some time to get used to the temporary rule and more accurately identify who is welcome alone. 

Former McDonald's Kellie Belfield was not surprised by the decision. She told Liverpool Echo that when she was working as a cashier at McDonald's, the behavior of many young people was unacceptable, including "throwing food everywhere [and] smashing windows." Some allegedly even threatened employees. Working at a fast food restaurant is already challenging enough without having to endure verbal and physical abuse. Hopefully, this policy will help the employees get some peace of mind and safety at work while McDonald's works to find a longer-term solution.