It is becoming common for Beijing's homeless people to use the fast food chain's outlets as a respite from the biting winter and on Friday night more than a dozen people slept in a McDonalds restaurant in Shuangyushu, Haidian District. Some of them ate the food left on the table before going to sleep on the benches.
A middle-aged man said shyly that he had come to Beijing from another province to look for a job. But he had not found one and had no place to live. "I've lived in McDonalds for more than two months," he said.
Another young man in the same situation said, "The rent in Beijing is so high that I've had to stay in McDonalds while I look for a job. It's very warm in here and I can often find some food. Since the restaurant is located in the downtown area, it is convenient for job-hunting during the day," he said.
Homeless people have also been seen sleeping in other McDonalds in Beijing but the majority of customers seem unperturbed.
A customer surnamed Lin said she didn't mind if there was someone sleeping nearby when she was having her meal. But another customer surnamed Gu pointed out the restaurant should ensure a "good dining environment".
No one from the McDonalds headquarters in Beijing was available for comment but it seems the staff in the Shuangyushu branch are not overly concerned.
"We haven't found a good way to solve the problem since the tramps would not leave the restaurant when asked but they are not disturbing other customers' meals," one worker said.