McDonald’s customers have slammed a popular Queensland store for locking its toilets and only providing access after diners have paid for their meals.
Customers have reported being locked out of the bathrooms at the Maroochydore eatery, on the Sunshine Coast, resulting in one child having an “accident” because they didn’t make it in time.
Others have described near-misses, and being forced to let their meals go cold while they use the facilities.
A sign outside the Aerodrome Road bathrooms advised: “Toilets proudly provided for the use of McDonald’s customers. Code on bottom of receipt.”
Local mother Kim McDonald took a picture of the notice and shared it to social media on Thursday after stopping at the fast food store for lunch with her 90-year-old grandmother, who she said requires a walker to get around.
She told of how it took her nan five minutes to walk from the car park to the bathrooms, only to not be able to get in.
“At least 10 or so minutes would have passed where a near 90 year old has had to hold their bladder. They are lucky they didnt need to get out the mop and buckets. And probably lucky i didnt have my kids with me too,” she wrote on social media.
Ms McDonald, said she heard rumours the locks were introduced at the 24-hour store to prevent drunk youths making a mess late at night, but argued why it was necessary to lock customers out during the day.
“Why cant the doors be unlocked until a later time like 8pm or something to allow easy access to the bathrooms for kids, pregnant ladies and disabled or elderly people?” she asked.
“I just think the locks are a bit of an overkill.”
Another woman agreed, adding: “Most of the time I need to go first then I order…..mmmmm, especially on road trips.”
Two weeks earlier, another mother identified only as Jo Anne, told of her little girl’s outing with Nana that turned into a disaster when the little one didn’t get to the loo in time.
She took to the McDonald’s Facebook page to label the practice “unacceptable” on May 23.
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“I’m just hearing, from my 5 yr olds Nana that today my child had an accident because you lock the toilets and only put the code on the receipt. They WERE customers who were using your facility and had decided (like plenty of other parents) to have a play in the playground before ordering their afternoon ice cream treat,” she wrote.
“I appreciate some business can’t afford to have public coming in and out just using facilities, but there is a standard expected at McDonalds and today you failed. Very disappointing. Surely you can do better than that.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson responded to Jo Anne’s comment, advising they would raise the incident the with Maroochydore restaurant.
Some have however defended the Macca’s store’s decision.
“Well everyone else expects that only customers use facilities. I think it’s fair,” one woman wrote.
Another added she was “shocked” by the number of people who came to a McDonald’s just to use the bathroom, then left without buying anything.
“That is not fair, who pays for the cleaning, paper and water? Good on you Maccas, many more stores should learn something here and follow suit if they are having the same problem,” she wrote.
A McDonald’s spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo7 it was not a company policy to lock bathrooms, but something the Maroochydore licensee decided to implement “in response to safety concerns raised by customers about some people misusing the bathrooms”.
The spokesperson added the toilets were able to be opened for anyone who requires them.