McDonald’s has apologised after footage of a security guard mopping the pavement where a homeless person was sitting sparked anger on social media.
Footage posted on X, formerly Twitter, showed the security guard soaking the ground where the man had been sitting with his sleeping bag, outside a branch of Nationwide bank beside a McDonald's restaurant in Victoria Street, central London.
The fast food chain said on X it was “shocked and saddened” by the incident, and confirmed the security guard involved had been "permanently removed" from its restaurants.
The video appears to show the rough sleeper saying “leave me alone”, before the security guard kicks his blanket out of the way and splashes water along the pavement.
Another security guard attempts to prevent a bystander from filming.
The man filming is heard saying “you’re covering his sleeping bag", while he and other witnesses describe the situation as “outrageous behaviour”, calling it “disgusting” and “bang out of order”.
Another passerby can be heard telling the security guard: "You don't need to mop here".
The video - which had racked up 3.2 million views by Sunday afternoon - was posted to X by Damon Evans.
Tagging McDonald's in his post, Mr Evans wrote: "Do you think it is acceptable for your staff to soak the sleeping bags of homeless people in the middle of winter (or any other time of the year)? Disgusting behaviour. He wasn’t even outside your premises."
We are shocked and saddened by this incident. The third party security guards involved have been permanently removed from our restaurants and the restaurant team has been reminded of the importance of treating all people with respect, including vulnerable people both in the…
— McDonald's UK (@McDonaldsUK) December 10, 2023
The fast food chain responded in a statement posted to X: “The third-party security guards involved have been permanently removed from our restaurants and the restaurant team has been reminded of the importance of treating all people with respect, including vulnerable people both in the restaurant and within the wider community.
“We would like to wholeheartedly apologise to the gentleman in the video and will work with the council to locate him and make amends as part of our ongoing work to support homelessness charities in & around the area.”