Can we stop with the lockdown food shaming?

The UK Government recently eased lockdown restrictions. We can now go outside for unlimited exercise and leisure provided we stick with social distancing rules.

As set out by Government plans, many hospitality businesses may be looking to re-open in July. Some businesses like McDonald's could have made a couple of changes and stayed open this whole time if they had wanted to.

They decided to temporarily close though and use the time to access how they could safely open at a later date. They are now gradually re-opening with a limited menu and various restrictions across the UK.

So as lockdown restrictions have eased a little, a few of our creature comforts have re-opened or been a lot busier than normal as more people venture out and about. I don't know about you but after 10 weeks of being stuck at home with the kids, these little things can give us something to look forward to and provide hope. Or just something to do.

I have never been one for takeaway coffees, I like mine strong and black which I can easily make at home so personally have not missed any of the fancy coffees Starbucks make. But do I judge those waiting in their cars to get their coffee fix? No not at all.

I remember when the kids were babies I would sometimes visit McDonald's / a coffee drive-through when the kids were asleep in the back of the car and just sit on my driveway and drink it. It was bliss and sometimes saved my sanity!

For some, their favourite coffee is a real treat and for others, it is a reason to get out of the house and ease themselves out of lockdown. For some people who may be furloughed, they might not have anything better to do and sitting in your car in a queue for Starbucks fills in an hour of a very long day.

Others may be living alone and fancy a teeny bit of human interaction / normal life and for couples or families who are at their end of their tether with each other, one person heading out to the Starbucks drive-through whilst listening to the radio may give them some much needed headspace.

I just do not understand why people need to photograph the drive-through queues and share & shame them on social media.

Likewise, I personally would not queue for an hour for ice cream from Di Meos. I do not love ice cream that much but taking a photo of those who do and then sharing / shaming them on social media is just not on. If you actually speak to people who were in the queue, you will discover they were socially distanced and felt safe the whole time. It is not against the law to queue for food as long as you are socially distancing.

Finally, I come to McDonald's who have re-opened 30 stores this week. Already I have noticed the photos of the queues doing the rounds on Social Media. The people in the queue are not doing anything wrong, they are perfectly safe inside their own car bubble while they wait. My kids LOVE McDonald's and used to go once a fortnight after swimming at our local leisure centre.  They miss this routine and there is no shame in this

They have mentioned that McDonald's is one of the places they have missed the most. I can personally go without but when you are a tween/teen (or young adult), fast food is life!

As soon as our local store opens, I will be joining the queue too (well, I will after a couple of days). Right now, anything that gives my kids a little bit of happiness, normality and lifts their spirits is worth waiting in a bit of a queue for. It is not wrong to want to make your kids happy and McDonald's are masters at this.

Money is really tight for a lot of people at the moment and McDonald's is one of the more affordable treats out there. Many will have not enjoyed any kind of takeaway treats throughout all of this but may have a spare tenner which is enough for McDonald's burgers all round. Please do not make people feel guilty for enjoying their favourite burger or shake. For many, the luxury of ordering a Fat Hippo or local gourmet burger is just not available.

I do wonder if the food shaming is a bit snobby. Will those who share and shame the queues outside of McDonald's, Greggs or Nandos do the same when Rileys Fish Shack opens? I think not.

There are many things that have gotten me angry during this Pandemic - some of the behaviour of our Government, the great disappearing act of Boris Johnson and people who refused to listen to lockdown rules and continued to throw parties when we were at the peak of the Pandemic. These are all big issues which can cost lives.

Somebody sitting in a queue in their car for three Happy Meals for their kids is not doing anyone any harm and is bringing happiness into someone's life at a really tough time, I fail to see why this particular issue is the one some people decide to get the angriest about.



  1. I haven’t seen any of these social media posts but I totally agree with you. We can’t wait for a McDonald’s either!

  2. I totally agree with you. Me and my oldest daughter sat in a Costa drive thru queue for 45 minutes on Monday.i dont even like coffee but I just wanted to go something 'normal'. I'd been having a few really bad days and that hour of 'normality'saved my sanity.

  3. As someone who was in the queue for Di Meos I completely understand what you are saying. For me the promise of an ice cream half way through the week meant that I could get some work done and the kids had something to look forward too. We are not financially comfortable at the moment and this was something they wanted and I could afford. We were distanced and made sure that hands were washed. In some ways this pandemic has brought people closer together in other ways it has shown a huge split. People are being shamed for not clapping on a Thursday night, for using online shopping when others feel they shouldn't, for going to the shops, for sitting quietly on a park bench when nobody else is around. Whilst we have seen the best of humanity we are also seeing the most petty of humanity too.

  4. I totally agree - you took the words right out of my head ! I’m not a McD person but my girls love a treat, especially when they have been home for like you say nearly 10 weeks. Go Sam !

  5. I LOVE this post! My birthday fell 4 days before lockdown and we didn't feel comfortable going into any restaurants even though at that point they weren't shut .. and do you know the one comforting thing I wanted for breakfast that morning? A Maccy Ds! So we got a breakfast drive through and it made me so happy! I think it's perfectly fine to want to support local business yet still be craving a Costa fix or a Big Mac - these simple pleasures have become everything! As soon as the Cosa drive thru opens down the road I will be there for my latte!


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