McDonald’s forced a 14-year-old to eat outside in London’s ‘Beast from the East’ cold snap because she had her school uniform on
- The UK is in the grip of a dramatic cold snap this week.
- Despite this, McDonald’s told a 14-year-old girl she had to eat her food outside.
- They were enforcing a policy which bans children in school uniform from eating inside their restaurants.
- McDonald’s has said that the weather doesn’t make a difference.
A 14-year-old student in London was forced to leave a McDonald’s and eat in the freezing cold because she was wearing her school uniform.
Lucy Haffenden and an unnamed friend were asked by staff at a McDonald’s branch in Erith, south London, to eat their cheeseburgers outside around 5 p.m. on Monday, The Sun reported.
Temperatures in London hovered between 0 and -4 degrees Celsius (32 to 25 Fahrenheit) that day.
McDonald’s acknowledged the incident, and said it was enforcing a blanket ban on children in uniform eating in the restaurant, regardless of the weather.
According to Haffenden’s father, Mark, the two students were given a takeaway bag and asked to leave despite saying that they wanted to eat in-store.
He told The Sun: “They sat down and then someone comes over and tells them to leave – it’s embarrassing, and really no way to treat customers.”
Britain and many parts of Europe are experiencing heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures as it grapples with the “Beast from the East,” a cold blast caused by unseasonably warm weather in the Arctic.
McDonald’s appeared to acknowledge the incident, and said their staff had been following guidelines.
According to the company’s policy, all people wearing school uniforms at its Erith branch are not allowed to eat inside because it could encourage anti-social behaviour.
The company told The Sun: “Whilst there is no indication that the girls mentioned were committing acts of anti-social behaviour the safety of our crew and customers is of the utmost importance to us and the policy is therefore enforced at all times.”
Mark Haffenden, the student’s father, said the company should have made an exception and that he would be asking for a refund on his daughter’s meal.
He said: “We all know what the weather has been like, I can’t believe they’re allowed to make them get out.
“Even if there is a policy, surely they could have just said for today they can eat in — then I would have been thanking them, rather than having to get a refund.”
Business Insider has contacted McDonald’s for further comment, but is yet to receive a reply.
Parts of southern England and Wales will continue to be hit by heavy snow and strong winds as Storm Emma pushes up from southern Europe, the UK Met Office has warned.
At least three people in the UK have died as a result of icy conditions, the BBC reported.