Homeless Problems Close Indoor Seating At Panerea, Starbucks

The closure are occurring in Hoboken, N.J., and one Panera manager told a local TV station that some homeless people have become so increasingly aggressive that the company felt it was necessary for the safety of customers and staff to remove tables.

  • The tipping point for the removal of the dining tables at the one Panera restaurant was a fight about two weeks ago between two people, believed to be homeless.
  • Both restaurants are franchises of the larger chains, whose open-door policies on seating attract people looking for a place to get warm or got to the bathroom.
  • Hoboken officials said they had no part in it the policy change and that “the entire country is in the midst of a housing crisis.”
  • A spokesperson for Starbucks told the TV station: “Our local leaders are, and have always been, empowered to use the many resources at their disposal to modify store operations and create the best experience for our communities.” Panera’s corporate office did not return requests for comment.
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