THE BLOG

KFC and McDonald's Are Banning Under 18s - Here's Why That's Hideously Wrong

02/03/2016 11:58 GMT | Updated 03/03/2017 10:12 GMT

KFC and McDonald's have announced they will be banning under 18s from some branches unless they're accompanied by an adult.

I, along with numerous others, reacted to the news with disbelief, shortly followed by anger.

The fast food chains justified the decision after a brawl broke out between 20 teenagers in an area in Stoke-on-Trent a few weeks ago. Eight people were arrested.

The companies came to the decision that banning all under-18s was obviously the only option. McDonald's says the ban is to "protect customers", while KFC said it is "the only solution left open to us".

Firstly, I've seen more fights between drunk adults at 2am then I have between teens.

Secondly, let's just take a moment to reflect on what these two international companies are actually doing.

They're tarring a whole generation with the same brush. They're doing a Daily Mail. They're saying to every teenager: you're a troublemaker and you cannot come here because we don't trust you.

What kind of message is that giving out to young people?

A couple of years ago I visited a youth charity in Manchester working with the city's teenagers. The biggest complaint there was that young people were seen as lazy and bad news. Unfortunately, the recent decision is only going to enforce that horrible stereotype.

When I was a teen, McDonald's was *the* place to go. It was A Very Big Deal to go to McDonald's without your parents. It showed you were finally being trusted to be independent.

Rather amusingly, a lot of people have assumed the ban is for health reasons (LOL).

It's also been pointed out half the staff in McDonalds and KFC will now have to take a chaperone with them to work.

I'll be interested to see whether they stick with their new nonsense rule. But in the meantime, I'll be heading to Burger King instead (they do better chips anyway).