Why sleep in a McDonald’s?

The number of people sleeping in McDonald’s outlets has increased six-fold over the past five years, a trend partly driven by rising rents and substandard housing that makes life especially unbearable in the city’s baking weather, a study has found.

The survey, organised by Junior Chamber International and conducted in June by volunteers, found 334 people had slept in a McDonald’s outlet nightly over at least the past three months. Of the 110 branches that operate 24 hours in the city, 84 had seen overnight sleepers.

This is a six-fold increase from a similar study in 2013, which found only 57 such people, popularly dubbed McRefugees or McSleepers.

A branch in Tsuen Wan hosted more than 30 sleepers, the highest among all branches, according to the latest study.

Researchers were able to interview 53 McRefugees aged between 19 and 79 in depth, and found 57 per cent of them had a job and 71 per cent of them had flats that they rented or owned, contrary to the common belief that these people tended to be jobless and homeless.

Saving on air conditioning costs, as well as comfort and security, topped a list of reasons given by these interviewees, followed by high rents, conflict with family members, the ability to develop social relations at the chain and substandard housing.

Here is the full story, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.

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If people are choosing to sleep in McDonald's because the housing quality is so low, then maybe McDonald's should bring back the worker's houses of the 19th century - just give them central air this time.

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Maybe they just like sleeping in McDonalds, like with IKEA stores? Note some of them have homes already.

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'McDonald’s outlets'

One assumes that another meaning than the one associated with factory outlet is meant, though many consider McDonald's to exemplify the concept of assembly line factory food.

They are sleeping inside of electrical outlets. That's what makes the story so surprising.

I laughed

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oh!, this is HONG KONG. That small fact was omitted from TC"s main post text,

Are these people sleeping INSIDE all night ... and the individual McDonalds management doesn't notice or care ?? Not credible.

Note that in U.S, people living full time in their cars/trucks is a big trend.

24 hours mcdonalds.

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Right. In the US having a jalopy parked next door to a McDonald's - for as long as you can before comes tell you move along - is a common sight. At least if you're in urban California.

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Long time Hong Kong resident here. It's quite common. I'm not sure why it's tolerated but it is.

Here is a related story from two years ago, when a woman died while sleeping in a McDonald's and nobody noticed for around 10 hours.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1863953/homeless-woman-found-dead-hong-kong-mcdonalds-24-hours-after-she-sat

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I can't imagine they would feel rested after sleeping in that posture, under flourescent or LED lights.

How can you possibly look forward to this future?

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In some American communities illegal immigrants rent beds by the hour and the same bed can serve two to three people per day.

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Just so odd that you don't identify the city in your post. Is this something about Hong Kong or about society everywhere?

I conjecture that it is bait for the local MR commentariat.

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"Here is the full story, via the excellent Kevin Lewis."?

... the "Full Story" (original study) on these McRefugees is nowhere to be found -- just snippets in 3rd hand news stories. NPR and Foxnews jumped right on it, spreading the fake news. This amateur "research" was allegedly done by casual "volunteers". Odds are high it's a greatly exaggerated/BS "study". Plenty of poor people hang out (but not sleep overnight) in various eateries, shopping malls, public libraries, etc -- but very very unlikely (even in HongKong) that the owners of such establishments tolerate these type sleepovers.
"Facts" are lacking here, just unverifiable assertions provided.... but why let absent facts spoil a good fake news story?

Long time Hong Kong resident here. It's quite common. I'm not sure why it's tolerated but it is.

Here is a related story from two years ago, when a woman died while sleeping in a McDonald's and nobody noticed for around 10 hours.

https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/1863953/homeless-woman-found-dead-hong-kong-mcdonalds-24-hours-after-she-sat

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Can we get some comments from Tyler about what MBS has been up to lately and particularly focusing on how Tyler thinks he’s a great reformer?

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In this part of the world, at least, McDonald's posts a 30 minute limit on staying. Even if you are eating.

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Because "you deserve a break today"

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With <0.005% (one in 22 000) of the HK population, this survey may not have much broader implications.

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If you are operating under two sets of assumptions and one gets pulled out from under you

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The gig economy strikes again!

First, people used their personal vehicles as taxi cabs.

Then, Chicago nightclubs started renting out their buildings during the day to charter schools.

Then, homeowners allowed tourists to use their home while they were away.

Now, McDonalds becomes a hotel during off-peak hours.

How long before high-rise office buildings and corporate headquarters become strip clubs outside of office hours? With housing and construction prices on the rise, and with the available land dwindling lower and lower, it seems like idle resources such as building space should be put to better and better use.

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Darn. I didn't even know this issue existed! Thanks MarginalRevolution! And I think of myself as well-read and reasonably intelligent (don't make fun of me for my ignorance!) person.

Anyway, my view is that McDonalds, being a highly subsidized outlet (thanks to USDA policy) for cheap American food, should simply start a cheap hotel chain similar to the tube hotels in Tokyo. There's obviously a demand and many of the folks who take advantage of the availability would no doubt be very amenable to the luxury of a shower and shave in the morning, not to mention some dental hygiene.

Anyone apologizing for all the heart attacks and suffering McDonald's causes by siding with the perpetrator should be ashamed. I figure McDonald's owes Americans who predominantly suffer from their food offerings. Pushing back some of this cost to the originator of their clients' suffering is the only reasonable American thing to do.

Surely the subsidy is only a small proportion of McDonald's costs? Cost of ingredients and all that...

Interestingly, USDA subsidies from the Check-Off and direct subsidies to farmers for grain that feeds the animals is huge. The real cost of a McDonald’s double bacon cheeseburger to taxpayers is almost double. There’s an interesting book, “Meatonomics” by David Simon, that details the actual cost of meat. So, the government is basically forcing taxpayers to pay to get the heart attack and then clean up the damage in the medical system. But, the food and medical system reaps (or is that grim-reaper?) a huge benefit.

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So....accidental private shelters outperform public ones?

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