Not exactly an "I'm Lovin' It" scenario if you ask me, but today on the Billings Customer Service Watchdog page, I came across a post from a concerned individual on a new "policy" at one of the many McDonald's in Billings...

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Are You A Teen? No McDonald's For You!

This post, from Amanda T here in Billings, informed the masses that McDonald's on Central will no longer allow students from West High in the lobby from 10 AM to 2 PM. Though, your kid CAN still use the drive-thru or the mobile app.

But, if your kid can't drive... too bad! At least, that's how the not-so-friendly GM at the Central location came off to me. And that's how it is coming off to parents of West High students.

Ring Ring... Ring Ring... Ronald?

I'm not afraid to pick up a phone and call, so I did, and reached the GM "Kayla". (She refused to tell me her name once more, at the end of the call, but I got it anyhow from one of her employees after our call)

I introduced myself, and asked Kayla about this brewing drama online about their new "policy" and if it was true.

Kayla responded to me with:

We are not allowing high school students to enter the lobby between 10 am and 2 pm, due to safety reasons.

I then asked "How are you identifying these customers as students?", and Kayla replied:

I am unable to elaborate any further.

Alright, I pushed harder and asked "How is your location accomplishing this? Are you requesting ID in the restaurant? Or are you... profiling students?" and my reply is what you can expect... with a hint of attitude:

I do believe I told you that is all I am able to say."

Sure thing. I asked her to repeat her name for me, to which she said "Ok, Thank you". I shoved in my last statement "I WILL call back and get your name" (Which, I did) and she hung up on me.

Totally manager-like. For a GM of an establishment, not great. Maybe Kayla is having a bad day.

 

via GIPHY

What else have I done?

Transparency is my game when I take on a business or "public organization", so here's what I did afterward.

  • I called the Lower Heights location and spoke to the manager there. They had not even heard of this, and their location is not participating.
  • I called the Upper Heights location and spoke to the manager. They said the only store, owned by the same group as theirs, doing such a "policy" is the Central location, due to incidents that have happened.
  • I called the number I received for "McDonald's Montana", and left a message inquiring about this decision.
  • And, finally, I reached out to BPD to see if this even falls under the "Right to refuse service" laws, or if some rogue manager has taken it upon themselves to institute a new "policy".

Future

I'm waiting on a reply from McDonald's Montana, or whatever the corporate name is. However, if we don't hear back, I'm genuinely curious what McD's Corporate thinks on this, and if local franchise owners are allowed to do such things.

My big issue here is simply "How?".

How is McDonald's going to prevent West High students from entering the lobby? Or, what is worse, how will they decipher WHO is a student... and WHO is just short and young-looking? Sounds a LOT like profiling will be going on here.

What are your thoughts?

Do you think this is fair for students, or people who LOOK like a student? What other options would you have thought of? Let us know on App Chat or on Facebook!

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