The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, January 2, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
McDonald's


Paying customers get to stay and eat

On a recent trip to an Everett McDonald's, I was disgusted. Not by the food, but by a policy of discrimination.
A group of children came into the restaurant at 7920 Evergreen Way shortly after school let out Dec. 9. The students were energetic, but not disruptive, and many of them went immediately to registers to order their burgers, fries and sodas.
After a few minutes employees managed to catch up with the rush of business the kids brought. As soon as that happened, one staff member announced that all children would have to purchase food or leave.
Immediately after most, if not all, the children complied and made purchases, the same employee told the students they would have to go. They had their food at the tables and should have been allowed to enjoy it like any other customers. They hadn't been yelling, swearing or disrupting, yet they weren't even allowed to eat their food while it was hot.
Almost all the other customers in the restaurant had been longer than the children, but none were asked to leave. These young customers were singled out by restaurant management because of a factor beyond their control: their age.
No doubt, some children misbehave or make trouble, but that doesn't mean all young people should be treated with contempt. Would it be acceptable for McDonald's to apply a "buy food and get out" policy to any other group of customers in its restaurants? Rejecting children, paying customers, from eating in a McDonald's is age discrimination.
I asked management for an explanation. Other customers in the dining room joined me in objecting to the treatment. A manager or senior employee tried to explain the policy to me, but she couldn't really do so. She said something about it being initiated in cooperation with the Everett police. I found it hard to believe my city's police force would encourage local businesses to practice discrimination. I hope that isn't the case.
Everett businesses should be partners in the community. While sometimes teens and preteens can be boisterous and possibly annoying, each child should be treated as an individual and conduct should be addressed as it occurs. If McDonald's is comfortable marketing to children and taking their money, then it should treat those customers with the same dignity afforded to any other.
Children and teenagers have very few place that are fun and safe to congregate. I would rather have them having clean fun in fast food restaurants than under bridges or on street corners. We, as a community, should let the McDonald's at 7920 Evergreen Way know that policies of discrimination will not be tolerated.
I've contacted the company with hopes of receiving a satisfying explanation for this restaurant's employees' behavior. Until then, I'll think long and hard before spending money at place that discriminates against its customer base.
Mike Dwyer
Everett
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...

Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor: jbauer@heraldnet.com

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer: cmacpherson@heraldnet.com

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor: npattison@heraldnet.com

Josh O'Connor, Publisher: joconnor@heraldnet.com

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to letters@heraldnet.com, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at cmacpherson@heraldnet.com or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet highlights

Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (8 new photos)
A new breed of berries
A new breed of berries: Blueberry and raspberry plants that are ideal for Northwest
10 critical plays
10 critical plays: Aside from ‘the interception,’ other events also cost...
A future recreation station
A future recreation station: Skate park, playgrounds coming to Cavelero Hill
SnoCoSocial