Customer says McDonald’s employees kicked him out after 30 minutes

A McDonald’s customer calls one of the fast food locations online after being told they could not stay in the store more than 30 minutes.

TikToker Jensen Harris (@jensenaharris) went viral on the popular video-sharing platform after posting a clip of himself getting into a verbal altercation with McDonald’s employees at a location in Providence, Rhode Island. In the video, Jensen wants to know why the store has a 30-minute policy for guests, saying they have to leave the premises after a certain amount of time, even if they’re paying customers.

Jensen claims the chain has no such policy and believes he was racially discriminated against by McDonald’s employees.

@jensenaharris McDonald’s employee in Providence, Rhode Island calls more than 5 police officers at a paying customer. This McDonald’s is a franchise. Some will say they can make any rules they want. Yes, you can. But when those rules/policies are selectively enforced against certain paying customers, that’s a different situation. This “30 Minute Meal Policy” is posted on the wall for all non-designated paying customers on designated days. #discrimination #mcdonalds #police #justice #policy #blm ♬ Original sound – Jensen Harris

Jensen says in the clip while taping employees, “I’m here at McDonald’s in Providence, Rhode Island. I was told not to sit here for more than 30 minutes after eating. I’ve never seen this before. This is very misleading. I think we’ll see what really happens.”

At this point in the video, an employee can be seen speaking to Jensen, it sounds like she’s saying, “What does that have to do with anything?”

He replies, “What does that have to do with why someone comes in, already buys food, gets food.”

Jensen and the employee then start arguing about business policy, and the TikToker can’t believe the fast-food chain would actually implement such a rule at its stores.

“It’s not McDonald’s policy,” he notes, as the video then cuts to screenshares of a smartphone webpage on the McDonald’s website, looking for any mention of a time limit dine-in guests have in one location. He then posts a series of text overlays paired with a language filter saying the restaurant doesn’t make it clear if there is a 30-minute dining rule, or if there was one at all.

The video then cuts back to another employee approaching Jensen from behind the counter. She points to the camera and tells him he needs to delete the video. He replies that he won’t. “I’m not deleting this … don’t make me call anyone for it,” he says. “That’s not right. That’s not right.”

The McDonald’s employee is on the phone with someone while Jensen continues to record. After she starts speaking into the phone, it becomes clear that the call is about Jensen’s behavior at the restaurant.

Then he turns the camera around: “I’m at McDonald’s right now, I’ve already paid for my meal, now they’re telling me I have to leave McDonald’s because I’m here more than 30 minutes. I’ve never seen that before…”

He keeps walking around filming the inside of the restaurant. “I don’t think they should do that,” he says, before pointing to the manager and zooming in on them with his smartphone camera. “All I do is wait, charge my phone, I wait for people because I have people I actually meet up with for family – let’s see what happens today. Lets see what happens. Let’s see what kind of incident we get – let’s see what lawsuit we have and I’ll call my attorney.”

The video then cuts to a clip of McDonald’s employees ignoring Jensen. In the text overlay, the TikToker claims the workers refuse to give him the name of their manager.

Jensen then films various police officers standing outside the McDonald’s location. “4 police cars and 5 cops later they asked me to leave and stop the recording,” he wrote in the text overlay. “McDonald’s policy clearly says nothing about their so-called ’30-minute policy,’ nor does it say police involvement.”

The Daily Dot has reached out over the phone to the McDonald’s location and Jensen via TikTok comment for more information.

Jensen’s video has received over 455,000 views on the platform as of Wednesday.

A viewer shared his disbelief at the “30 minute guideline” at the specified point in the comments. “So they set a timer EVERY TIME someone sits down to eat,” they said.

Another user on the platform found it strange that a relatively empty store has such a strict time policy for customers: “The place is empty so how long does it matter to you how long it sits there.”

Jensen responded in the comments to another TikToker noting that the policy appears to be “selectively enforced.” He wrote: “Exactly!! You woke up! Everyone else comments oh it’s their policy and privately owned…if it’s a policy why do they only use it sometimes?”

According to Legal Match, the right to refuse service or to require customers to vacate their premises can be a gray area, although there are a few exceptions under certain state laws. “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 specifically prohibits restaurants from refusing to serve guests based on race, color, religion or national origin,” the website reads. “In other words, restaurants have no constitutional right to refuse service.”


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*Initial publication: January 11, 2023 2:53 pm CST

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.

Jack Alban Customer says McDonald’s employees kicked him out after 30 minutes

Jaclyn Diaz

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