PARTYGOERS out for some late night refreshments were attacked and robbed by a gang at a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant.

Detectives are appealing for information after two men, aged 40 and 34, and a 19-year-old woman stopped off at the fast-food restaurant off Rochford Road at about 2am on New Year’s Day.

While waiting they were approached by a gang.

One of the occupants was dragged out and beaten, a window was smashed and the car keys were stolen before police were called.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We were called shortly before 2am about a robbery and assault at a business park in Southend.

“Two men and a woman were inside a vehicle in McDonald’s drive through, in Rochford Road, when they were confronted by the occupants of two black vehicles.

“The occupants of the other vehicles got out, assaulted them before smashing their car window and taking their car keys.

“One of the victims, a man aged in his 40s, was pulled out of the vehicle and punched.

“The other victims, a 19-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man suffered bruising.

“The suspects left the scene and remain outstanding.”

It is not known what provoked the attack but is the latest apparently random attack.

Councillor Mark Flewitt, cabinet member with responsibility for public protection on Southend Council, said: “My first thoughts go to the victims at this time.

“These are dangerous chancers, and with an incident like this there’s the crime and also the psychological effect for the victims. I hope these people are caught and the victims recover fast. It is deeply disappoint and frustrating this has happened.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Southend police station quoting crime reference 42/135/19.

A spokesman for McDonald's said: "We can confirm that an incident took place outside our restaurant. The police were called and are currently investigating.”