This One McDonald's Allegedly Really Detests the Homeless

Illustration for article titled This One McDonald's Allegedly Really Detests the Homeless

If multiple unrelated customers are to be believed, one McDonald’s in Manchester, UK, won’t just refuse to serve homeless customers, they won’t even let other patrons buy food if it’s going to go to a homeless person.


19-year-old Charlotte Farrow was on her way to work late last week when she spotted an elderly homeless man on the street. Since there was a nearby McDonald’s and Farrow is a good person, she decided she was going to buy the guy breakfast. Seems simple enough, right? A feel-good micro-story not significant enough to make news, because basic human charity and kindness shouldn’t be so out of the norm that people feel the need to take notice.

Except Farrow alleges she was told she couldn’t buy the guy’s food because they wouldn’t serve the homeless. No, seriously:

“We queued up and the homeless guy tried to get some money out before I told him I was paying. Then the supervisor said ‘we don’t serve homeless people’. He said the business manager told them they weren’t allowed to serve homeless people. They said it was a new policy. It was his attitude towards the guy - we were both customers so there shouldn’t be any difference. I think it’s absolutely awful and completely immoral. We’re all human beings. I wouldn’t expect to be treated like that. If they’re refusing to serve homeless people it’s extremely judgmental.”

McDonald’s, for their part, is denying this entire incident took place, and that both Farrow and the homeless man were served. Regardless of whether that’s true, it’s a smart choice on their part—unless a cell phone video of this exists or something (and why would it?), there’s no way to prove what Farrow is claiming takes place. For a lot of (very dumb) people, the absence of hard evidence is relevant not only in a court of law, but in every situation in life. Likewise, many of these (very, very dumb) people will show up in the comments on this post to argue some batshit lunacy like the idea that McDonald’s should sue Farrow for even accusing them of this. After all, there’s no hard evidence, so why should we in any way believe this took place?

About that: this isn’t the first time this exact McDonald’s has pulled something like this within the last month—and in the other instance, we don’t even need to use the word “allegedly.” A couple weeks ago, Daniel Jackson was nearly refused service from this location purely because he looked like a homeless person. Jackson, who works as a landscaper and is most assuredly not homeless (not that it should matter), had just come from work and his clothes were dirty (which tends to happen when you work in landscaping). He was specifically told the restaurant had a “zero tolerance policy” towards serving homeless people. While McDonald’s denied that such a policy exists, they didn’t deny the incident took place, and ultimately apologized to Jackson. Jackson’s reaction pretty much sums it up for all of us:

“I’m angry that I had to justify myself in front of a massive queue of strangers” he added. “Yet what I find most disgusting is that policy like that even exists. It completely victimises homeless people.”

When it comes to stories about the poor being crapped on, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. And if it is true, how catastrophically messed up is that? Where, exactly, are homeless people supposed to get food, if fast food restaurants are off the table? Granted, I know there’s a significant contingent of sociopaths around the world who think they should all starve, but those of us who don’t vote Republican (or Tory, or any conservative political party of your choice) aren’t really on board with that idea.

Image via LesPalenik/Shutterstock.

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Back about 15 years ago I use to stop in at a local McDonalds for breakfast a couple times a week. I would get there maybe 20 minutes before the switch from breakfast to lunch menu, and after a bit I noticed something that went on just after the switch. The staff would pull all the remaining breakfast sandwiches off the warming trays, and then quietly pass them out to some homeless people who hung around. It was very discrete and done in a “blink and you’ll miss it” way, a guy would walk up to the side of the front counter where there was no line and the manager would slide a sandwich over, then the guy would leave the store.

The franchisee who owned that location owned a few others in the area and lived near me, and by happenstance I found myself in a social situation with him later. I worried a bit that I was revealing something his employees were doing on the side, but I mentioned what I had seen, he responded “Yeah, I tell them “use you best judgement, and try not to let the food go to waste.” and so far it’s been working out OK.”

I’ve lost touch and don’t even know if he still owns the place or if they still pass out food, but I liked the cut of his jib.