UK McDonald's bans under-18s after 5pm after staff subjected to 'verbal and physical abuse'

A McDonald's in England has taken the unusual approach of banning children under the age of 18 from eating in their store from 5pm without an adult. 

The McDonald's restaurant on Lord St in the English city of Liverpool made the decision after staff at the store were subjected to "verbal and physical abuse", a McDonald's spokesperson said.

They said the ban at the city-centre restaurant, which is open 24 hours, is temporary.

"Over recent weeks, we have seen an increase in the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour in the area with our people being subjected to verbal and physical abuse. 

"We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to crime and anti-social behaviour, and have temporarily restricted restaurant access to under 18s from 5pm.

"This decision was not taken lightly and we are working closely with the police to find a resolution and help reduce these incidents." 

Two other McDonald's restaurants near the one on Lord St - one a four-minute walk away and the other a 10-minute walk away - both seem to have not introduced the same policy. 

A customer to the Lord St McDonald's said he saw a security guard telling someone he couldn't let them in. 

"As I was leaving the security guard stopped a man he believed to be a teenager and told him they weren't allowing people under 18 into the restaurant after 5pm without an adult with them," the customer told the Liverpool Echo. 

"The man told the security guard he was in his 20s so he apologised and explained that the new company policy meant he couldn't let groups of teens in on their own."

McDonald's has more than 36,000 branches around the world, about 1300 of which are in the UK.