It’s a policy usually reserved for the bustling clubs and nightspots of the city centre – but now a McDonald’s overrun by gangs of up to 40 thugs has been forced to hire a bouncer to ID youngsters on the door.
The fast-food chain in Corstorphine launched the last-ditch scheme at the end of June after staff and customers were regularly “harassed” and sworn at by packs of up to 40 youths.
McDonald’s bosses insisted it was a “very unusual” measure brought in as a “last resort” following a number of incidents over the past year when police had to be called out to deal with the troublemakers.
A bouncer has now been installed at the restaurant’s doors from 7pm every evening – with youngsters asked for ID on the door and under 16s barred from entering unless supervised by an adult.
A McDonald’s spokesman said the move was made after talks with police and “lengthy engagement” with the community. And the outlet insisted the presence of the bouncer, who has been manning the restaurant’s doors since June 26, had led to a “dramatic reduction” in anti-social behaviour.
The spokesman said: “These measures have been taken as a last resort and follow lengthy engagement with the local community.
“The safety and well-being of our customers and employees are of the highest priority. We’re delighted to announce that the restaurant has seen a dramatic reduction in anti-social behaviour related incidents since the introduction of these measures, and the feedback from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. We will keep the situation under review.”
The Corstorphine McDonald’s is thought to be the first branch in the Lothians to introduce such harsh measures in a bid to crack down on teenage troublemakers.
Many city centre McDonald’s employ bouncers to cover weekend late shifts – including on Princes Street – but none operate an ID policy or insist on adult supervision.
Councillor Paul Edie, who represents Corstorphine, said it was “very regrettable” the fast-food chain had been forced to adopt such “draconian” measures.
He said: “I have absolutely no sympathy for gangs of thugs going about harassing people doing their work. No staff member in any occupation should be harassed.
“But it’s unfortunate that young people are being discriminated against and it does seem draconian.”
And Ken Swinney, secretary of Corstorphine Community Council, said he was “very surprised” the problem with local youths had gotten so out of hand.
He added: “But if it’s a problem, they have to do something about it. They can’t tolerate that.”