A McDonald's customer attacked an employee in a fight over plastic straws — and it reveals a troubling reality for fast-food workers

ATLBlackStar TwitterA viral video filmed in a McDonald’s shows a male customer reaching across the counter and grabbing a female employee by her shirt.
  • A viral video shows a McDonald’s customer reaching across the counter and dragging an employee toward him as she fights back.
  • The incident is said to have been sparked by a dispute over plastic straws, as the city of St. Petersburg, Florida, where the video was filmed, recently barred fast-food chains from giving away unlimited straws in their lobbies.
  • A 2015 survey of almost 1,500 fast-food workers found that 87% said they had been injured at least once while at work in the previous year, with 12% saying they had been assaulted on the job.

A viral video of a fight between a McDonald’s worker and a customer reveals a dark truth about the fast-food industry.

The video, filmed earlier this week in a McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Florida, shows a male customer reaching across the counter and grabbing a female employee by her shirt, dragging her toward him. The employee started to hit the customer, in an apparent attempt to get him to let go of her, until the two were separated by other employees.

“I want her a– fired right now,” the customer can be heard saying in the video.

“You’re going to go to jail,” the employee responded.

Watch the video here:

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The incident was sparked by a dispute over plastic straws,CNN reported. The man – identified by the police as Daniel Taylor, 40 – began arguing with employees because the McDonald’s location did not have straws out in the lobby, the outlet said, citing an eyewitness. An ordinance went into effect on New Year’s Day in St. Petersburg requiring customers to ask for straws.

The employee attempted to explain this to Taylor, said CNN’s witness, Brenda Biandudi.

“He started exchanging words laced with profanity, which I won’t repeat,” Biandudi told CNN.

Biandudi said she recorded the incident and posted it online. Taylor was later arrested on two charges of simple battery.


Read more:
A viral video appears to show a Florida man attacking a McDonald’s employee over a plastic straw

“Our highest priority is always the safety and well-being of our employees and customers at our restaurants,” a McDonald’s representative said in a statement. “We have been in contact with the police department and are fully cooperating with their investigation.”

The incident reveals some larger issues in that employees of chain restaurants can often end up in dangerous situations when engaging with customers or working behind the scenes.

A 2015 survey of almost 1,500 fast-food workers found that 87% said they had been injured at least once while at work in the previous year. Some of these injuries were in the kitchen – 79% said they had been burned, and 67% said they had been cut. Additionally, 12% said they had been assaulted on the job in the previous year.

While these are longstanding issues for many people working in the service industry, violence at restaurants has been in the spotlight recently as people can increasingly catch incidents on smartphone cameras.

In the past year, numerous videos showing the aftermath of apparent racial profiling at restaurants and other retail establishments have gone viral, including a video of the arrest of two black men in a Starbucks and another of a black woman being forced to the ground by police officers and her breasts exposed at a Waffle House.

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