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McDonald's at war with group of gossiping New York pensioners

Staff at the McDonald's in Flushing, Queens, are becoming increasingly frustrated by the group of pensioners hogging all the booths.
Staff at the McDonald's in Flushing, Queens, are becoming increasingly frustrated by the group of pensioners hogging all the booths.
New York Times

Staff at a New York branch of McDonald's are at odds with a group of Korean pensioners who spend all day hogging the booths while purchasing little more than a small bag of fries between them.

Workers at the fast food restaurant in Flushing, Queens, have called police to intervene on several occasions, claiming that the elderly patrons are driving away business.

The group of pensioners, who arrive as early as 5am and often stay until well after dark, freely admit that they do not even like the food McDonald's serves, but find the restaurant a convenient place to meet.

Although they are aware of the frustrations of the staff, the gossiping group have so far resisted police attempts to move them on.

Defiant regular Man Hyung Lee, 77, told the New York Times,

"They ordered us out, so I left.

"Then I walked around the block and came right back again."

Restaurant managers argue that the group are hindering business by taking up most of the booths for hours on end while splitting nothing more than a small pack of fries ($1.39) between them.

The pensioners claim that they have every right to take as much time as they want.

Bizarrely, there is a senior center in Flushing that offers seniors breakfast and lunch every day, but the local elderly population seems to prefer meeting at McDonald's.

Kwang Kim, president of the center, told MailOnline that he provides coffee and snacks for the senior citizens from 8.30am to 5pm every day but 'they don't come'.

McDonald's franchise owner Jack Bert said in a statement: 'I'm sure you can imagine any business would find this situation to be difficult when customers prevent other customers from enjoying the restaurant.

'We continue to work to resolve this situation and create an environment so customers who wish to enjoy this restaurant have the ability to do so.'