- Teens jumped the order counter and stole food from a McDonald's in Nottingham, UK, police say.
- Around 50 youths entered the store and roughly seven of them jumped the counter, per police.
- Service workers say they've faced more verbal and physical abuse over the past two years.
A group of teenagers jumped over the order counter at a UK McDonald's and stole food and drink, police said.
About 50 youths, believed to be aged between 14 and 16, entered the restaurant in Nottingham, England, on Sunday around 9 p.m. local time, Nottinghamshire Police said Monday.
Around seven of them jumped over the counter and "started stealing the food that was being prepared in the kitchen" as well as taking soft drinks, police said. Some of the youths filmed the incident on their phones, according to police.
Most of the group soon left but around 20 stayed in the restaurant and were "threatening and abusive towards staff," police said, adding that the group had dispersed by the time officers got to the scene.
The incident occurred just weeks after the Liverpool Echo reported that a McDonald's restaurant in the city had banned minors from eating there after 5 p.m. without adult supervision, after staff were subjected to what a McDonald's spokesperson said was "verbal and physical abuse."
Days later, a video showing a group of youths verbally and physically abusing workers and climbing on tables at a McDonald's in Kent, southeast England, went viral. Some of the youths spat at workers, Kent Online reported. Restaurant staff ultimately barricaded the doors to keep the group out.
A McDonald's spokesperson said of the Nottingham incident: "We were shocked and appalled by the incident which has absolutely no place in our restaurants. We will continue to support the police with any further investigation."
Nottinghamshire Police said it also received reports that the group gathered outside another McDonald's restaurant in the city at around 10 p.m., but that nothing was stolen, and the group was not present when officers arrived.
A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire Police said no arrests had been made as of early Monday afternoon, but officers were checking CCTV footage. "We are treating this incident very seriously," they added.
Service and hospitality workers have had to deal with growing numbers of rude customers over the last two years. Some staff say they've faced both verbal and physical abuse, and some have left their jobs because of it.
"Everyone got mean during COVID," a former Starbucks barista earlier told Insider.
In April 2021, McDonald's announced it was introducing new standards to create "a culture of physical and psychological safety for employees and customers through the prevention of violence, harassment and discrimination."
The burger giant said in 2021 it had also implemented a program aimed at preventing workplace violence in its restaurant globally, which included workshops, e-learning for managers and crew, and targeted training for some restaurants.