A mother-of-five has vowed never to return to the local McDonald’s again after her father was refused entry for not having a smartphone to scan a code for Covid test-and-trace.
Vicky Wakelam, 43, says she had taken her dad, Colin Wakelam, 65, out for a McDonald's breakfast as a “treat” of McMuffin meals as he was having a hard time.
But when they arrived at the Cheltenham high street branch on June 9th, they were both asked to use their phones to scan the ‘track-and-trace’ QR code before they could enter, according to Gloucestershire Live.
Mr Wakelam, who stacks shelves on the night shift at Asda, was “upset” to be told that since he did not have a smartphone he would not be allowed in the McDonald’s.
The pair were forced to order their breakfast and then eat it outside on a bench.
McDonald's has since apologised, saying it was a "genuine mistake" that they have reminded the restaurant of its policies and procedures.
Ms Wakelam, who works as a cleaner, said: “To be turned away just because he didn’t have a phone to scan himself in there, he was quite upset.
“It was quite embarrassing. We were holding up the queue and my dad was trying use his phone to scan this thing but it’s such an old phone, it wouldn’t work.”
She said that the McDonald’s manager told her “It is, what it is”.
“Not everybody can afford a smartphone or even use one”, Ms Wakelam added.
“I was taking him out to try to cheer him up and it was like a blow to him and it made him quite fed up. I just wanted to treat him.”
Ms Wakelam was forced to order the food for her father and they sat and ate their meals on a bench.
She said: “My elderly father had to sit on a bench and eat his breakfast.
“He enjoyed the meal but for the rest of the morning, it sort of put a dampener on things.
“I was annoyed. I was really angry because I just wanted to treat my dad.
“My dad was fed up because he knew I was angry as well and he wanted to enjoy his meal and not have to sit on a bench in the High Street, it was unpleasant.”
A spokesperson for McDonald's said: “We are very sorry to hear about this customer’s experience and apologise for any upset this may have caused.
"This was a genuine mistake made by our restaurant team who incorrectly interpreted our policy and did not offer to check the customer in using the restaurant’s tablet."
They added that the restaurant team has been reminded of McDonald's policy and procedures so this does not happen again.