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"Fast" Food Takes on a New Meaning at Mickey D's

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 1, 2019 15:14

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An upstate McDonalds has a new policy--you have to eat your food and vacate your table in 30 minutes. That didn't sit well with Jane Malin and her friends who were asked to leave after 34 minutes.

A McDonalds restaurant in Little Falls, New York is on the hot seat for telling customers to leave after about a half an hour. That's right!

60-something Jane Malin and a couple of friends were enjoying a meal following a Sunday church mass. After 34 minutes of dining, the group was unceremoniously asked to go. Malin posted her frustration on her Facebook page, stating she felt embarrassed and insulted. Another table of 4 was also booted out after they exhausted the new 30-minute deadline.

This is the policy of the Little Falls golden arches franchise -- 30-minutes to eat. Even though the staff was polite, Malin felt it was an imposition to be asked to go.

Other people agree. "Many senior-citizens and retired people come to their local McDonalds to meet with friends and share a cup of coffee or a 'Happy' Meal," was one of many comments on WKTV's website.

This story struck a nerve with me because it seems to me that many of our "guilty pleasures" are being taken away. This is a result of many factors including human behavior and technology.

The owners said eating time has to be limited to discourage homeless visitors or loiterers. 

Why not have more facilities where unfortunate folks who are homeless can use a restroom and get a meal?

I shop regularly at an QFC in Seattle. Back in the day, you could just use the restroom any time you were in the store. Now, it's always locked and you have to get a code from a store clerk. I asked for the code one morning when I was doing an early shopping run and an employee said, “Sorry this really sucks, but addicts are hiding out getting high in the bathroom or sleeping there all night. So, the bathroom has to be locked at all times."

There are more and more restrictions on almost everything we do. Just stand in a line waiting to be screened by the TSA and tell me you don't feel put upon. Yep, human behavior has propelled this.

To be honest, I'm tired of Facebook. Why not meet me in person or call?

I'm not a fast food fan. Occasionally, I go through a drive-in. But I can tell you for sure that if I was given a 30-minute dine-in limit by any restaurant, you wouldn't find me in it. At times, you can eat a meal quickly, particularly if you're out alone on a work lunch break. However, if I'm with friends, we don't want to cough down food. There is something called conversation and you might need an hour for a meal. It's tough to put a time limit on socialization.

Rules and laws need to be in place, but we have to make reasonable accommodations and not penalize everyone because of the unacceptable behavior of a few. Although a few restaurants impose time limits on eating, thankfully, this is not a common practice.

Marion Charatan

Posted on September 1, 2019 15:14

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