A deaf woman said that an employee at a Burger King refused to serve her at the drive-thru, saying it was “too busy,” Oklahoma City’s KFOR-TV reports. The employee has since been fired, the company confirms.
Rachel Hollis stated that she went to the drive-thru at an Oklahoma City Burger King recently and, as she usually does, wrote her order down on her phone and showed it to the employee at the window.
“It hasn’t ever been an issue,” Hollis said of the way she is normally accommodated when she orders food at a drive-thru.
However, on this occasion, she was met with resistance.
“I show him my order, and he gives me this face of frustration,” she said.
Eventually, the employee produced a hand-written note.
“Can’t do a full order at the window. Too busy.”
Then, Hollis said, the employee began insisting that she come inside to complete her order, repeating that it was “too busy” and that he couldn’t “do a full order” that way. He then said it wasn’t due to her disability, and allegedly told her that he had a disability, too.
Hollis said the entire incident made her feel uncomfortable, so she recorded it. You can see the exchange in the video below.
According to Oklahoma City’s KOKH-TV, the employee tried to get her to leave the drive-thru and when she refused, they called the police.
Her kids were with her in the car the whole time.
“I could tell they knew something was going on, I was just trying to keep them calm. I said I’ll explain it to you when we get home. But they knew something was going on,” Hollis said.
When she did eventually get home, she said that she cried from exhaustion and frustration over the incident.
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Now, she’s sharing her story in the hopes that employees at Burger King and other fast food outlets will know they can’t discriminate against deaf customers.
“I want to make sure all deaf customers are able to use drive-thrus with no issues in the future,” she said.
In a statement, Burger King apologized for what Hollis went through and confirmed that the employee involved has been terminated. Additionally, the employees at the specific location where the incident took place will undergo sensitivity training.
This is not the first time a deaf customer has been refused service at a fast-food restaurant and then gone on to share their story with the media. As Fox News reported at the time, last January, a deaf man was refused service at an Ohio Taco Bell. That employee was also fired.