A McDonald’s outlet in Tokyo has finally removed a sign in the store that says homeless people are “unsuitable” customers more than a year after they posted it. The store had received a lot of complaints, calling the signage discriminatory and offensive.
The popular fast food chain’s Keio-Hachioji branch in the Shibuya Ward in Tokyo took down the sign on October 27 after being inundated with complaints from other customers and those who saw it posted on the Internet. The sign read, “We reserve the right to refuse customers unsuitable for our store, including unhygienic and homeless people.” One of the employees posted it in the 24-hour store because some customers complained that late at night, there are a few people who come in with “strong body odor.” The manager claimed that they did not notice that the sign had the word “homeless” until someone pointed it out to them and people started posting about it online. In Japan, the local word for “homeless” is sometimes considered an offensive word.
A public relations official for McDonald’s Japan apologized for those who were offended with the word that they used. The official statement says that the sign was put up there so that all customers can spend a “pleasant time” at their fast-food. They also advised the outlet to re-word their signage. It now reads, “When we judge that your behavior is offensive to other customers, such as making noise, sleeping or being unhygienic, we may refuse to serve you.”