A Sheffield KFC restaurant refused to serve a disabled man after he arrived at the drive-thru on a mobility scooter.
David Irving, aged 71, was left dismayed and upset after being denied his desire at the company’s new outlet at Sheffield Lane Top.
After being turned away at the hatch, he complained to their head office, who told him it was their policy not to serve people in mobility scooters as they are not insured.
Buit David says his vehicle is insured and feels he is being treated differently as a result of health issues that are no fault of his own.
“It is just discrimination to me,” he said.
“When I pulled up the person serving just closed the window. My scooter has brake lights on it and it is insured and everything. I said would you serve me if I put my big cover up and he still said no.”
David, who lives on Shiregreen Lane, went to the restaurant on Tuesday, September 4, to get eight pieces of chicken after his wife told him they had nothing in for tea.
He uses the scooter as he suffers from a range of physical ailments including arthritis, knee problems, a weak heart and an asbestos-related condition called pleural plaques.
However, his scooter also helps him with the mental health conditions he has, including agoraphobia and depression.
He said: “I have been ill now for 15 years and my scooter has been a godsend. It is my freedom to get around.
“They said why can’t I go into the shop but I explained I have agoraphobia and I can’t go in strange, busy or enclosed spaces.
“I also suffer terribly with depression - just thinking about the way they treated me makes me upset.”
David, who has two grown-up children and two grown-up step-children, does drive but believes he has to make a stand against KFC’s policy, which he believes contravenes anti-discrimination law.
KFC refused to provide a named spokesperson.
However, a KFC spokesperson said: “We understand their frustration, but the safety of all our guests has to come first, which is why in our drive-thrus, we only serve customers in an enclosed vehicle, like a car or van.
“To make up for the disappointment, we’re going to offer the customer a free meal on us next time they visit.
“If a customer has any difficulty with coming into a restaurant, we’d encourage them to call ahead or speak to a member of staff who’ll be happy to help.”