A Dunkin' Donuts store is receiving backlash after an employee wrote a nasty note on a homeless woman's cup.

It happened on Friday morning at an outlet in Cincinnati, USA, when someone went to buy the homeless woman a drink.

The owner of the store, Mike Benhase, says the employee making the beverage took "matters into her own hands".

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"She had some sort of issue," he said.

That employee wrote the following on the cup: "Stop 'hangin' in front of the store if you have a full-time job. - Mgmt."

Mr Benhase says that employee is no longer with the company.

"When I found out what happened I was in shock. I just couldn't believe it," he said.

A homeless individual that spoke with FOX19 said they knew the woman this happened to.

"You guys aren't living down here on the street, you can't say that," they said.

"You can't judge anybody because everybody has a heart at the end of the day."

Mr Benhase owns eight locations and has been in the business for 12 years.

"I've never had anything like this happen before," he said.

He hopes to get in contact with the woman the written note hurt and make it right.

"The management and the ownership of our company does not support that whatsoever. We're all about taking care of people, being nice to people, our business is built on being nice," said Mr Benhase.

The story made headlines when a photo of the cup went viral on Facebook. The original post has since been deleted.

Cincinnati's former city council candidate Brian Garry shared a screenshot of the photo with the caption "management at Dunkin' Donuts on Court St. felt inclined to write this on a homeless woman's cup. Honestly, Cincinnati, you have to be better about helping the most vulnerable."

Business Insider reports that this incident at Dunkin' Donuts was the latest in a string of news stories about fast-food chains and stores "grappling with their treatment of homeless individuals".

According to the website, a 7-Eleven location in California is now blasting opera music to drive out beggars, loiterers, and other "riffraff".

Starbucks, meanwhile, has opened up its bathrooms to all, sparking concerns that the coffee giant will be "overwhelmed by homeless individuals".