A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was left distraught after staff at McDonald’s refused to serve her claiming she was underage – despite her mother pre-ordering their food online.
Schoolgirl Lilly Bullen called into the Bradshawgate branch of the fast food giant in Leigh, Greater Manchester after mum Claire had paid for their meals in advance using the chain’s app.
But a member of staff told the girl that under 16s were not allowed to be served after 5pm, due to a public dispersal order following a recent spate of trouble in the area.
Lilly was said to have been close to tears after being refused service.
Claire, who lives in Leigh, told Manchester Evening News: “I was gutted for her as I had to sweet talk her to go in for it in the first place, as she gets ever so shy. She came out nearly crying as she thought she’d done wrong.
“She’s not exactly rocked up and asked for a double vodka to go with her double cheeseburger has she.”
Claire accompanied her daughter back into the store, where they were eventually given their food.
She continued: “I went in with her to challenge the lady and her reply was a rather rude ‘nope, she’s underage, we don’t serve under 16 anymore’. I explained we had already ordered and paid and she was purely collecting.”
After sharing the experience on social media, Claire later discovered that trouble with youths had sparked the rule.
“We later found out it’s because of other older kids causing so much trouble,” she said. “It always ruins it for the younger kids. I’d seen posts about the kids causing trouble, but I had no idea of the refusal of service after certain hours.”
While the dispersal order – enforced by Greater Manchester Police – is in place, the Bradshawgate branch requires under 16s to be accompanied by an adult after 5pm.
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “This customer was initially refused service due to temporary measures introduced to support a dispersal order in Leigh town centre.
“After confirming that her guardian was waiting outside the restaurant, the customer collected their order as normal”.