A shocking scene at an Aussie McDonald's, with tables and floors covered in rubbish and emptied liquids, has highlighted the dire situation experienced by some hospitality staff working through the night.
The short video shared online shows the mess in Newcastle's King Street McDonald's, a venue known to be frequented by "drunk" people leaving the city's clubs in search of greasy food, and for some — sleep. Not an isolated occurrence, thousands of Google reviews refer to the fast-food location as "rough", "dirty" and "unsafe".
"My wife and I felt intimidated by a large crowd of young people who were very noisy and hassling staff," one person said. "There was rubbish on all the tables and floors. No cleaning had been done for a while as staff were too afraid to leave the safety of behind the counter."
McDonald's Australia told Yahoo News Australia the King Street location has "a number of safety procedures" in place to protect the "safety and wellbeing" of their staff including 24-hour CCTV surveillance, alarm systems and security guards working overnight shifts from Friday to Sunday.
"McDonald’s has a zero-tolerance policy for anti-social behaviour and expects our restaurants, people and customers to be treated with respect and decency at all times," it said. "We are working with the restaurant to ensure we continue to provide a safe and clean restaurant, and a great customer experience."
In September, King Street McDonald's was in the news after a 23-year-old man who had been attacked and set on fire sought help from staff there.
Anti-social behaviour condemned online
Aussies who have seen the video on TikTok have blasted the "disgraceful" treatment of the Newcastle restaurant. "That is disgraceful, I'd love to find where these people work/live and do the same thing at their place," one person said.
"I just arrived back from living in Mexico for a year… and visiting South Africa, Colombia and more. Never seen a McDonald's like this over there. Wild," another said in bewilderment.
Others from the area confirmed how common it is for the venue to be left in such a state on weekends. "King Street has always looked like that on the weekend. Everyone coming for a drunk feed when the clubs close," a local explained.
Fast-food giant says it is focused on welfare of employees
With drunk, anti-social behaviour seen in locations like King Street — and an August plea from an employee claiming young workers were "pushed beyond our limits" to hit targets — the fast-food giant previously shared it offers tailor-made support to its thousands of Australian employees by partnering with wellbeing platform Sonder.
The vast majority of McDonald's' 115,000 employees are young people, with approximately 75 per cent of the crew in secondary school, TAFE or university.
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