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Following Twitter backlash, U.K. McDonald’s forced to rethink youth ban
You may now resume sticking french fries up your nose.
Apparently, delinquent teens have been a problem of late at a McDonald’s location in southeast London’s Sidcup neighborhood—so management decided to do take a stand. Earlier this week, a misspelled sign was spotted in the window: “NO YOUTHS WILL BE SERVERD [sic] AFTER 7PM,” it read.
SIDCUP: “NO YOUTHS” sign seen at MacDonald’s in Sidcup. Outrageous! And so’s their spelling! pic.twitter.com/lcw4MBHxNN
— Kent 999s (@Kent_999s) January 7, 2014
Predictably, this vague, illegal, and otherwise unenforceable fiat was met with ridicule and hostility on Twitter. The policy was especially galling since the latest newsworthy incidents at the fast food restaurant involved adult men (one tried to steal a chair and called a policewoman a “slag,” while the other burst in waving a samurai sword.)
WOT WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GET SERVED IN SIDCUP MCDONALDS DPMO
— h (@harry_bradford) January 4, 2014
— Young Shan (@shannoneasson) January 9, 2014
Word has gone out to the youths of #sidcup especially the one inside mcdonalds who decided to give my PCSOs grief..£90 fine and humiliation
— Sgt Mark Rudd (@MPSSidcupSgt) January 7, 2014
Sidcup mcdonalds have a notice on their door saying ‘youths will now not be served after 7’ is this a joke I want chicken nuggets cunts
— sloth (@JscMatilda) January 5, 2014
It wasn’t long before McDonald’s HQ stepped in, with a spokeswoman reaffirming the franchise’s “family-friendly” atmosphere:
On Saturday evening, the restaurant experienced problems with a group of individuals causing sustained disruption to the restaurant, affecting fellow customers and employees. As a result, following consultation with local police, the restaurant management took urgent steps to try and prevent repeat anti-social behaviour. The wording of the initial signage displayed in the restaurant was incorrect and we apologise for any confusion caused.
A victory for the kids—but of the hollow sort:
Oh the youths of Sidcup. Find something better to do than hang around in McDonalds.
— Shelley Johnson (@shelleyj89) January 9, 2014
Problem is, there’s no Burger King nearby.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'