MILWAUKEE -- Patrons of an east side McDonalds aren't "lovin' it." They are upset with a new policy, putting a time limit on how long they can eat.
Members of a local Breakfast Club said they're embarrassed that they're being kicked out of their favorite spot. The rule being enforced says you only have 30 minutes to eat your food then you will be asked to leave.
At 9 a.m. every morning you can count on seeing these self-proclaimed "Breakfast Club" members at the McDonald's at 1614 North Avenue on the east side. It's been their routine for more than 20 years.
"I like to come into McDonald's, I like to have my breakfast. Then I read the paper with my drink and then I get maybe a dessert and my friends start coming in," Marilyn Kruger said.
Kruger has about a half dozen friends who do the same thing. Jay Onisch used to come after he got off his third shift job. Vernon Nelson still comes even though he no longer lives in Milwaukee. He drives in from Waukesha every day.
"I've been here for at least 25 years," Nelson said.
But last week they were told they need to move it along.
"I felt very hurt when I was told for the first time that I had to leave after 30 minutes," Kruger said.
The McDonald's franchise owner Jeffrey Steren said this isn't a new rule but one he has to enforce.
"When I acquired the restaurant 2 and half years ago, there's been an ongoing problem with panhandlers inside and outside the store," Steren said.
He said it's so bad he finds people using the bathrooms as their showers and sleeping in the booths. Steren said legally he has to enforce the 30-minute rule for everyone, even the Breakfast Club.
"At least until we get the ground rules straight, get the ones that are causing the problems to move on, enforcing the rules does cause a little pain for them," Steren said.
The Breakfast Club has reluctantly talked about finding a new place but they do not want to go.
"I've been such a good customer for many years that I shouldn't have to suffer for others," Kruger said.
The owner has hired a security guard to enforce the rules, which also includes only letting paying customers use the bathroom. Steren said of the 11 restaurants he owns, this is the only one with a problem.