McDonald's apologizes for threatening to fire employees who 'give food to tramps'

© Lucy Nicholson
McDonald's has issued an apology after one of its franchised restaurants in France hung a notice threatening to fire employees who gave away their staff meals to the homeless.

"Following an incident on July 25, it is formally forbidden to give food to tramps. As a reminder, staff meals must be eaten on the premises. Staff meals are a personal benefit and should only benefit the staff member in question,” the note, signed by management at a restaurant in Hyeres, said.

The letter went on to say that McDonald's is “not in the business of feeding all the hungry people in the land,” stating that “any diversion from the procedure cited above will result in sanction that could lead to dismissal.”

McDonald's France issued a response to the notice posted at the Hyeres restaurant. The controversial memo has been widely circulated on social media since it was put up.

The company claims the sign was posted after a “serious incident” involving two homeless people in front of the Hyeres restaurant, and was aimed at keeping the premises safe for its customers.

However, the restaurant admitted the “process and the formulation was clearly clumsy” and that “restaurant management quickly removed the notice.”

“McDonald’s and the restaurant apologize to all those who may have been shocked by this notice and state that the brand is dedicated to serving all its clients without discrimination,” the statement added.

A company spokeswoman declined to say what the McDonald's France policy was on giving away employee meals, and would not elaborate on the statement, according to Reuters.

The US-based fast food chain has more than 1,200 restaurants across France, employing over 69,000 people. The individual branches are a mixture of directly-owned and franchised establishments.

It comes just four days after a woman at a McDonald's in Norway was refused service because she was accompanied by a guide dog. The woman says she is considering formally pressing charges against the company.