A Burger King franchise in Melbourne’s CBD has raised its temperature by almost an hour for homeless people, to help them stay warm.
The fast food chain said in a statement that it was making the change “to ensure the safety and comfort of the guests who are staying in our restaurants”.
“It’s a big step for us to go above and beyond our normal operations and our corporate standards to make sure we are safe and comfortable for our guests,” Burger King Melbourne manager Robyn Smith said.
The temperature change was announced at a press conference, with Mr Smith telling reporters the temperature had been raised to 40C (104F) for guests to enjoy at the restaurant.
“We have been told that we are raising the temperature to 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in order to assist the homeless, because we want to make it easier for them to find warmth,” he said.
“But we have also heard the comments of a lot of people who are having issues with the temperature in their hotels and in their homes.”
The people we serve are in a very vulnerable position and they need some comfort.
“A homeless man was photographed sleeping on the pavement outside the restaurant on Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Smith said he believed the decision was not just about keeping guests warm, but also making sure that people who had stayed in hotels and motels were comfortable.”
I don’t want people to think that we’re just going to take them to our restaurant and they’ll stay in there,” he told ABC News.”
It is something that we’ve talked to our management team about.
“If we do raise the temperature, it’s to help keep them comfortable.”
The chain also said it had been contacted by other businesses in the area, which had also raised their temperatures to help.
A homeless person sits on the street outside the Burger King in Melbourne.
Photo: Supplied: Mr Smith said the company was not aware of any instances of people becoming unwell.
“There’s a lot more than a temperature change that we need to look at, so we’ve been working with the local authorities to ensure that our guests are being protected,” he added.
“This is just to ensure they are safe, comforted and comfortable.”
Mr Smith confirmed that the franchise had had been operating under the policy for six months and was unaware of any incidents of people suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
“These are people that we have worked with and been working closely with over the past six months, we’ve heard from them, and we’ve made sure that they’re comfortable,” he continued.
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