Posted on November 22, 2013

McDonald’s Restaurant Turns to Opera to Drive Out Loitering Teenagers

Jonathan Pearlman, Telegraph (London), November 21, 2013

A McDonald’s outlet in Australia has begun playing classical musical and opera late at night to deter young people from loitering around the restaurant.

Fed up with their outlet’s nocturnal transformation into an unofficial youth club, the store adopted the tactic a few weeks ago and says it has significantly reduced the number of loiterers, particularly around the car park. The strategy has reportedly been tried before by a local council at a car park in Australia, though previous efforts involved blaring songs by Barry Manilow.

Matthew Watson, the operations manager at the Mt Annan McDonald’s on the outskirts of Sydney, said the music had been a successful deterrent.

“We’ve noticed a reduction in the number of young people hanging around, but we’ll have to reassess it properly in a couple of weeks,” the store’s operations manager, Matthew Watson, told the Macarthur Chronicle newspaper.

“We play a range of classical and opera music and so far it seems to be working.”

The tactic drew a mixed response on social media, with some locals saying the music was played too loud and others saying “it might bring a bit of class to the area”.

“They turn it up really loud when youth are hanging around the car park,” wrote Janeen Brady on the local newspaper’s Facebook page. “It woke me up at 1am Tuesday night and it’s only going to get worse as Xmas approaches.” A comment by Erin Cox, said: “I may just stay longer. I have no issue with classical music it’s quite nice.” Another comment, from Stef Awns, noted: “It’s a shame that classical music supposedly has this impact on people”.