McDonald's sorry for guide dog incident

2011-12-28 22:15
Cape Town - The managing director of McDonald's South Africa has apologised to a blind woman who was chased out of one of the hamburger restaurants on Christmas Day because she had brought her guide dog inside.

Greg Solomon told Sapa he would see to it that the woman, 33-year-old Sanet Gouws, would have the experience that she should have had in the first place.

"McDonald's does allow guide dogs in our restaurants," Solomon said.

"We regret this happened to the lady. On behalf of McDonald's I apologise sincerely to her."

Die Burger newspaper reported on Wednesday that Gouws, her mother, Tienkels Gouws, and her sister, Susan Botes, had wanted to buy a milkshake at the fast food outlet in Mayville.

Gouws was being guided by her 2-year-old black Labrador, Grover.

"We ordered and Grover went to one side of the restaurant and sat down," Gouws senior said.

She told the newspaper one of the workers at the restaurant became "fidgety" about the dog and called another woman who was outside cleaning the floor.

"The woman came inside and said it was against McDonald's policy to allow dogs in the restaurant," Gouws senior was quoted as saying.

The more Gouws senior and Botes tried to explain that Grover was a guide dog, the less it appeared the woman wanted to listen. According to Botes they were told to drink their milkshakes outside.

"We would have, but there wasn't shade... outside," Botes said.

Grover had been wearing his special harness and tag to confirm he was a guide dog.

"It doesn't help anymore to get angry. I just laugh about it," said Gouws junior, from Worcester in the Western Cape, who had been visiting her family for Christmas.

"During this busy period we have lots of customers in our restaurants but that doesn't excuse what happened," Solomon said.

"We treasure all our customers."

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