Humiliated ambulance crew told to 'get out' by Worksop McDonald's worker panicking over social distancing

An ambulance crew say staff at Worksop’s McDonald’s treated them like ‘lepers’ - telling them to ‘get out’ while panicking over coronavirus social distancing.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th March 2020, 10:30 am

Ambulance technician Peter Harding told how on Friday he and ambulance driver Wayne Squires were ordering meals at the restaurant’s touch screens when a worker told them to leave.

Peter, who says there were two other customers there at the time, described how the female member of staff approached them angrily, saying ‘I’m not happy there are more than five people in the shop - can you leave?’

Before ordering their meals father-of-six Peter and colleague Wayne had headed straight for the toilets to wash their hands but were shocked by the way the flustered worker spoke to them.

McDonald's, Worksop
McDonald's, Worksop

Peter said: “The way she spoke to us it’s like we were something on the bottom of her shoes.

“We begged her just to let us order our food but she just said ‘no, I told you to leave - get out’.

“We’re not asking for anything extra or to be treated like superheroes but things are stretched right now so it felt like a real kick in the teeth.

“I’ve never felt so humiliated or shown up - we felt like lepers because of the job we do.”

Peter Harding, with driver and ambulance care assistant Darren Stocks-Mason.

Peter, who is based at Bassetlaw Hospital’s cardiac ward, told how after - as he and Wayne were leaving - a member of the public overheard them describing the incident to the store’s manager.

The kind passer-by offered to buy them both a meal from the drive-in however they declined and left as requested.

Wayne took to Twitter to complain about the incident afterwards.

Peter's colleague Wayne Squires took to Twitter after the incident

He wrote: “I’m so shocked at the attitude we got from the staff members, as McDonald’s said they were helping emergency services in these bad times.

“Never been made to feel like that! Won’t be back anytime soon”.

Replying on Twitter a McDonald’s representative wrote: “Hi Wayne, I'm sorry to hear this. Could you DM us with the restaurant name, time and date of your visit and we can investigate this further? Thanks.”

A spokesman for McDonald’s told the Worksop Guardian how the store’s manager expressed sadness over the incident – as free drinks were being provided for emergency services workers to try and show support.

He added: “We were very sorry to hear this and having investigated there seems to have been a misunderstanding as our Worksop restaurant team were trying to implement social distancing guidelines in an effort to protect all of the customers in the restaurant at the time.

“As in our restaurants across the country the Worksop team has been proud to offer emergency services, health and social care workers a free drink during this period.

“In this case due to concerns around numbers in the restaurant making social distancing difficult the customers in question were asked to wait outside before claiming their free drink – we sincerely apologise for any upset caused.”