January 15, 2020
A blind law student who was kicked out of McDonald’s because he had a guide dog has won an apology – and an apparently sizeable financial settlement.
McDonald’s Gives Payout To Guide Dog Owner Thrown Out Of Restaurant
Fraser Kane, a student at the University of Strathclyde, was left “completely distraught” after being asked to leave the Paddington branch in August.
According to The Times, the 21-year-old has agreed a financial settlement with McDonald’s that could be anything up to £8,600 – an estimate based on previous legal cases in which claimants have suffered hurt feelings.
The fast food giant admitted the incident was “unacceptable” and stressed that guide dogs are welcome in its restaurants – despite a handful of similar incidents being reported at different branches in recent years.
In a statement released to HuffPost UK, a McDonald’s spokesperson said: “We pride ourselves on being an inclusive and welcoming business, and would like to apologise to Mr Kane for his experience, which was unacceptable.
“We have taken this extremely seriously, and been in conversation with Mr Kane to find a resolution and ensure he is satisfied with the actions we have subsequently taken.
“The employee working at the time has been given additional training and the restaurant team more widely has been reminded of our guidance in this area.
“The guidance in place is there to ensure our restaurant teams are clear that guide dogs are welcome in our restaurants, so it was disappointing to learn of Mr Kane’s experience.
“In 2019 we met with Guide Dogs UK and updated some of our training materials and how we communicate this information to restaurants, following their recommendations. However, given this situation occurred, we still have work to do, and will be reviewing our practices to ensure we continue to move forward on this issue.”
According to the Equality Act 2010, guide dog owners with disabilities have the same right to services supplied by shops, banks, hotels, libraries, pubs, taxis and restaurants as everyone else. But Guide Dogs UK has found that 75% of assistance dog owners surveyed have been refused access to a restaurant, shop or taxi. 
In 2015 a McDonald’s restaurant in Fredrikstad, Norway was reportedly facing police action after a blind woman was asked to leave because she was accompanied by her guide dog.
Tia Marie Askiainen wrote on Facebook that she, her dog and her five-year-old daughter were “loudly” asked to go and that the incident left her in tears.
Her dog, Rex, was clearly wearing a fluorescent harness identifying him as a working animal.
In 2011 a blind woman received an apology after she was “chased” out of a South African branch of the restaurant with her guide dog Grover.
Sanet Gouws received an apology from the managing director of McDonald’s South Africa, who told her: “We treasure all our customers.”
In February last year, a woman with a guide dog wrote on TripAdvisor that she had been “chased” around a branch in Basingstoke by a security worker, and was only allowed to stay when the manager intervened.
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