Advocates say McDonalds targeting homeless

September 6, 2010 12:01:52 PM PDT
Some unhappy meals are being served at a McDonalds in San Francisco. Homeless advocates say the decision by one of the restaurants to do away with the Dollar Menu is a ploy to get rid of the homeless.

The McDonalds restaurant at the corner of Haight and Stanyan is the center of all the fuss. The dollar menu there was taken away about one month ago and now, items on what used to be the Dollar Menu now cost about $1.50.

The decision, made by the owner of the franchise, does not particularly affect any of the other McDonalds in the area. However, the restaurant is located across the street from Golden Gate Park and an almost steady stream of homeless people who often order the cheapest items available on the menu now say the approximately half dollar difference in prices sometimes means the difference between eating and not eating.

It is no wonder that some believe the price hike was aimed at the homeless population.

"That means that the Dollar Menu is a hoax, a fraud, a phony," says Blake Edwards. "If you come here and say 'I want something off the Dollar Value Menu,' they say, 'Well, we no longer have it, but this is what it is.' Yet, you can't get it for a dollar. It's basically a lie."

"My wife has served in Santa Cruz, helping out the homeless there. So, we're aware that there are facilities that actually help," says McDonald's customer Doug Thulin. "But, this appears this isnt' one of them."

Franchise owner Natalie Gonzales says the homeless had nothing to do with the price change. She released a statement saying, "This was a business decision based on a number of contributing factors and while these items are no longer available at $1, they are still available at what I believe to be a good, everyday value."

In other words, she says it was a business decision aimed at making a little more money because while the restaurant is located near the park and may receive a number of homeless customers, it also sees a lot of tourists.


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