FAST food giant McDonalds has been issued with a severe warning and ordered to continue hiring bouncers at an outlet where a dead man lay undiscovered for hours.

However, licensing chiefs have relaxed the restrictions after police said there had been a notable drop in incidents at the Glasgow city centre restaurant.

McDonalds had been ordered to hire four security staff after Police Scotland complained about over 200 reported incidents in and immediately outside its Argyle Street outlet.

On one occasion a man had died from a drugs overdose was only found five hours after he entered a toilet cubicle.

But after the Sheriff Court referred it back to the city council after McDonalds challenged the ruling, the company was told it was required to retain four security staff across Friday and Saturday nights, with one on duty Sundays through to Thursday.

Lawyers for the firm said that it had voluntarily operated with such numbers ahead of the decision going back for reconsideration.

Between March 2014 and this week, Police Scotland said incidents of violence and disorder within the McDonalds outlet had dropped to 55 from 166, while outside they had decreased from 54 to 24.

There had also been a significant decline in late night incidents, when it requires to be licensed to sell food, from 94 to 20.

Lawyer for McDonalds Elena McLachlan said demanding four security staff every night was disproportionate, with barely 30 customers an hour served some evenings.

She said McDonalds had equipped security staff with cameras on their jackets, trained staff in conflict resolution and dealing with unruly crowds, had now 24 CCTV cameras in the outlet and access to a call centre which monitors goings on within the restaurant and can speak to customers over a loud speaker.

McDonalds was also in regular contact with Police Scotland and had increased security staff on weekdays when during holidays or of there were major events such as football matches taking place.

Asked what the nature of the recent incidents were, Police Scotland Sergeant David Higgins said they involved youths drinking, staff being verbally abused and customers refusing to leave.

Ms McLachlan also said the location of the restaurant, an notorious trouble spot known as 'the four corners', was not lost on McDonalds which she said claimed "it had a part to play" in dealing with.

Asked were the measures implemented by the firm having the desired effect, Police Scotland Sergeant David Higgins said: "The list of measures they have put in place is impressive. The figures speak for themselves but we are keen they don't regress."

The licensing committee issued McDonalds with a severe warning about future behaviour and instructed it to retain the security staff but with four hired at weekends only.

Under local government legislation in Scotland any premises selling food after midnight requires to be licensed with the authorities having the flexibility to enforce certain conditions. Police and other agencies can also object.

The litany of incidents in the original complaint included details of a call received from a McDonalds' manager around 8.30pm on August 8, 2013 that a man had passed out in the toilet cubicle. It transpired the man had died from a drugs overdose and had entered the cubicle at 3.30pm that day.

The force said it had implemented hourly patrols between 4pm and 11pm around the premises due to the volume of incidents and complained it was drain on resources as well as having a "detrimental impact on the area".