LITTLE FALLS - Many restaurants promise fast service. But, according to one local customer, a Herkimer County restaurant promotes speed eating, with a 30-minute time limit for dine-in customers.
"In 60+ years I've never been thrown out of a public restaurant until yesterday. The local Little Falls, NY, McDonald's has a new policy to evict customers after 30 minutes. 3 of us having coffee and lunch following Sunday Mass were asked to leave the restaurant after 34 minutes. Another table of 4 women were also evicted. The dining room was essentially cleared," said Jane Malin in a public Facebook post on Monday, adding "Not only was it insulting and embarrassing, it was ridiculous."
The Facebook post quickly drew hundreds of reactions, comments and nearly 1,000 shares as of Monday afternoon. Some offered explanations for the policy, such as diners staying too long and taking advantage of free wifi; others called it horrible customer service.
Malin didn't want to be interviewed on camera. She says the employee who 'evicted' her was very polite, and she asked the worker to convey her displeasure to management.
A spokesperson for Tom Clark, who owns and operates several area McDonald's restaurants, says he does not own or operate the Little Falls restaurant, and does not employ such a policy in his restaurants.
A public relations firm out of Pennsylvania sent a statement, which they attributed to the owner/operator of the Little Falls McDonald's. It did not address our questions, which included whether or not the policy was enforced when the restaurant wasn't full, and how it is enforced; do employees note the time every party sits and watch a running clock to make sure 30 minutes are not exceeded?
"We strive to provide a great restaurant experience for every customer and are constantly innovating to find new ways to best serve our customers at the speed of McDonald's, including the addition of mobile order and pay, McDelivery, table service inside the restaurant of course the drive-thru. We appreciate feedback from our customers that continues to drive our continued innovation," said Rich Krahling, McDonald's Owner/Operator, in an email statement to NewsChannel 2.
The statement does not address the 30-minute dining policy.