A McDonald’s customer got a nasty shock when she asked whether a McFlurry contained gluten – a note telling her to ‘f*** off and die’. The fast food giant has been forced to apologise to Bernie Bowles, who was mortified when she was handed an allergen informartion guide scrawled with the foul message.
The 63-year-old coeliac, who is able to eat some Galaxy products but not others, simply wanted to know whether she could tuck into a Galaxy Caramel McFlurry last month. So she was appalled to see the ‘offensive’ words written in what appears to be black biro on the leaflet while visiting the Weyhill Road store in Andover, Hampshire.
McDonald’s said the the incident is “completely unacceptable” and has confirmed that the vile note was written by a member of staff – with ‘appropriate action undertaken’ against the employee.
But that hasn’t been much comfort to retired bank manager Bernie, who is asking if McDonald’s ‘don’t want’ customers with allergies and ‘see them as an inconvenience’.
Bernie, who was never told whether the McFlurry contained gluten and came home empty-handed, complained but believes the issue hasn’t been taken seriously.
“When I came home, I could believe what was written on it. I thought that, quite honestly, it’s very inappropriate and it’s quite offensive,” she said.
“I thought ‘maybe that’s what they think about people who have got allergies. We don’t want you in McDonald’s. Go away. You’re just an inconvenience’.
“When I asked if the McFlurry was gluten-free, the staff member wasn’t sure so she walked off and then handed me that allergen leaflet.
“I saw there was writing on it. There were figures on the back and some writing on the front, but I hadn’t actually read the cover because I’d just opened it.
“I didn’t want to buy one and risk having a reaction, so I went to hand the leaflet back. The worker said I can keep it for future reference, she had no clue what was written on it.
“It adds insult to injury because I didn’t know if I could eat the McFlurry and then I saw that.”
Bernie says she contacted the McDonald’s complaints team just hours after finding the message and was promised a £15 voucher as compensation.
But she insists she’s still not been sent the voucher and instead was asked for a copy of the leaflet while they look into the incident.
McDonald’s have stated that she is now in contact with their customer services team.
Bernie believes company bosses must educate staff to ensure the same ‘inappropriate’ messages aren’t handed out in future.
Bernie said: “Yes, I do have a sense of humour and it may be banter between members of staff but they should be very aware of what they’re writing comments on.
“They need to make sure that if they are writing comments that it doesn’t get handed out to a customer.
“I’m really annoyed with [McDonald’s] now. I don’t think they’re taking the matter seriously, I’m not a happy bunny.
“They should investigate who wrote this in the first place, and they should deal with things internally to make sure if they need to write on something they have something that’s for staff use only.”
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “We take allergens extremely seriously at McDonald’s. This incident is completely unacceptable and is in no way in keeping with our company values or what we expect from our employees.
“As soon as we were made aware of what happened, an investigation was conducted as a matter of urgency.
“The employee was identified and the appropriate action was undertaken. We’d like to apologise to the customer, who is now in contact with our customer services team, for their experience and how it was handled.”