Diners that linger could bankrupt restaurant

Chang Lee  NY Times

There is a phenomina where elderly men gather in fast food joints to socialize with their peers. Sounds like a good deal until you find out that they are lingering all day over one cup of coffee and are denying seats to other paying customers. While these places don't want to reject paying customers, there is a limit to how much they can extend their welcome to men who split a small fries between four and sit from dawn to dusk.

A recent NY Times article shows how the owners resorted to asking police to get these men to leave. The men chose the McDonalds because it is closer than their social club a mile away. One man argued that it takes more than 20 minutes to drink a large cup of coffee. True but it doesn't take more than an hour.

So what's the win win solution? There must be one since you have two groups that are pretty close together. One group wants a place to eat, drink and socialize and the other group wants paying cutomers to eat and drink but needs a certain amount of income to stay profitable. Could the social club pay money to the McDonalds to subsidize the visits? Should the men agree to spend a certain amount per hour to keep the restaurant from failing? Can McDonalds or the social group open up the space above or next door for the  men? Surely by working together a solution can be reached.