McDonalds Over-18 Only Policy - Internet/Facebook Rumour

22 Mar 2012 - Article No: 1524. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

Other Keywords: McDonalds Not Serving Minors

Messages are circulating like wildfire on Facebook and Internet forums regarding an apparent ban by McDonalds on all customers under the age of 18. The rumour is often accompanied by the below image apparently displaying a letter from McDonalds regarding the ban.

The letter reads -

We would like to inform all customers that from 21st March 2012 our staff are no longer serving food to children under the age of 18.

This change is in line with new regulations set out by the government to ban all "junk food" for children in the fight against obesity.

We are no longer allowed to sell Happy Meals or serve any child or even any adult who may be buying for an underage person.

Whilst we currently do not know the origin of the letter, it almost certainly has not come from McDonalds, who have imposed no such ban.
Under 18s constitute a substantial portion of McDonalds customer base and only serving those over the age of 18 would be inevitably catastrophic to their business. Additionally we were unable to find any country that have made any recent significant changes to their regulations to fight against the onset of obesity - we were certainly unable to find any government of any country that have imposed such a ban on McDonalds. Many governments, including those of the UK and USA, have made significant steps to fighting childhood obesity though these have focussed on school meals. No government has done anything as drastic as forcing McDonalds to serve only those over the age of 18. Additionally such a ban would also raise questions as to why only McDonalds were to be facing the ban, as many other chain fast-food restauraunts serve very similar foods to McDonalds.

McDonalds has in the past had its fair share of criticism over its menus, and have continually been pressured into improving its menus in order to make them more healthy, and their reputation was significantly harmed after the movie "Super Size Me" by Morgan Spurlock was released in 2004, leading to the scrapping of supersize portions. However these changes would seem relatively minor over the drastic action of banning under 18s from being served.

Such news would be significant in the mainstream media, yet no media outlet has picked up the story and McDonalds have not released a statement to the effect, essentially dispelling the rumour.

Whilst it is true that specific local stores have imposed bans on under 18s wearing certain attire at certain times, this is certainly not a global or nationwide ban, rather one that reflects the environment in which the store is located - i.e. yobs being banned for wearing tracksuits after 7pm after staff at the store were being threatened. A small amount of other franchised McDonalds stores have implemented similar restrictions based on their individual situations. If you have (or know someone who has) been asked for ID or refused service based on age, then this is down to that individual stores policy.

There is absolutely no substance to this rumour, and Internet users are advised to check the facts with mainstream media outlets first before passing on such illogical drivel.

UPDATE 22/03/12
McDonalds have "Tweeted" an update addressing the hoax -

There is a hoax in the UK claiming McDonalds wont serve people under 18. Its NOT true. Everyone is welcome in our restaurants! Thanks.

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