Disabled people and Drive-thru problems (pre-You-Know-Wahat)

Due to today’s NAW Drive-thru story

I thought I should link to some articles (all pre-pandemic) of disabled people having the same problem as OP of the story

Sometime last year an American blind man lost his bid to sue McDonald’s after being laugh at twice at a drive-thru in two different states in 2015 when he tried to order food late at night at McDonald’s locations. And it wasn’t his first times being laughed at either he had multiple problems of not being able to order in the drive-thru. The lawsuit got dropped because the ruling said this: " the man failed to make his case that he was discriminated against because he is legally blind." and the ruling also said this: “the man’s disability is not what prevents him from purchasing McDonald’s food during the late-night hours; it is instead his status as a pedestrian that limits his access”. Note: Mind you the 2nd and 3rd times in Calforinia was as a “test”.

originally article about the lawsuit:

Not related to drive-thru but the year before the 2016 lawsuit, the man’s brother had created a lawsuit against McDonald’s about the “free-style Coke Machines” which aren’t friendly to the visible impaired

Back to drive-thru problems in 2020 there was a case filed because at some people bfore then- some visually impaired individuals apparently wanted Jack in the Box food and they ran into the same problem as the blind man above that lobby was closed but drive-thru open. And according to the class action article it has also happened at Wendy’s and Taco Bell as well


Taco Bell

Just want to add having to rely on something like a Taxi service to go through a drive-thru is a bit risky I would think, due to the fact you have the problem of needing to give the driver the bank card and PIN in order for them to put in the payment for it. What’s the chance the taxi-driver or UBER doesn’t try to steal your information?

Back to drive-thru problems now moving on from visually impaired people to mobility disabilities. The following stories all take place in Canada and at a particular (Canadian Coffee chain). In the time period of 2009-2016 Canada had at least three cases of long-time disabled customers of Tim Hortons’ not being allowed to use the drive-thru anymore due to “liability issues” in at least the two Nova Scotia cases. But as the two customers put it their scooters either can’t fit inside the doors of the restaurants or they can’t move around instead

One Nova Scotia case from 2009 that the man whom uses a mobility scooter normally gets coffee from Tim Horton’s location 1 and for some reason went to location 2. this particular time and I guess at location 1 they allow him in the drive thru. But when he tried the same thing at location 2 the drive-thru employee didn’t serve him citing a company policy banning: walkers, bikes, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters*. Which means for this man- he can’t get coffee because it would take three people to get him inside the and whom knows if he would be able to turn around and not run over someone when he’s backing up and the then-local representative of Tim Hortons there said “he will be reminding all of Tim Horton’s locations of the company policy banning…”

*in a later story there’s a quote by someone saying that mobility scooters aren’t included in banned

Six years before 2009 a simliar complaint was made and it took until 2009 before the complaint was settled. And I guess nothing came of it.

in 2012 another Nova Scotia man whom uses a mobility deviced was barred from using the drive-thru to get his wife’s coffee from Tim Hortons and the excuse was the same ban as in the last article

In 2016 in New Brunswick a similar story plays out with a disabled woman. For years that the woman whom uses a mobility device had been able to get their cup of joe in the drive-thru for 7 years before the ban. The reason for this ban was for “safety reasons” according to the company. But the woman insists that the drive-thru is the only way she can pick up the coffee (outside of someone coming with her) because 1)she would have problems getting into the restaurant/navigating around the restaurant and 2)she can’t stand up unassisted. The woman’s brother now has to come with her to bring the coffee to her outside and he’s devastated to know that she’s not allowed in the drive-thru anymore. That as he quotes “robbing her of her independence”

According to an article which is a bit close to home let’s just say (not just the province) that someone whom had to deal with it got a hold of the Tim Hortons’ policy and it doesn’t meantion anything about mobility scooters but it does exclude wheelchairs. I hope people don’t mind I don’t link to this article since it will give away my town’s name

One of the local Tim Hortons’ in my town refused to allow a young man in a mobility scooter to use the drive thru and even threatened to call the cops on him. It’s the only Tim Hortons locations in the region which spans from O to P which didn’t allow him to do that. He was having a walk down at the lake and wanted to pick up a snack on the way back and he wasn’t allowed to use the drive-thru and was told to “use the front doors” and then insisted he leave. And when the man tried to explain he couldn’t use the front doors (hard to get into/not being able to move around inside) the employee told him that “they will call the police on him”

Apparently it’s the only disabled drive-thru story with a semi-happy ending. That the man can use the Tim Hortons’ app and order through there and when he comes by a team member can bring it out.

and here’s a new story I just found today from 2021

In Alberta a woman with MS whom uses a mobility scooter was told she was ‘no longer allowed to use the drive thru’ to get coffee due to the company’s ban. But the woman (like the N.B woman) says it’s the only way for her to get coffee because the narrow doorway damages the scooter if she tries to go inside and trying to juggle a cane and a cup of joke is too difficult (edit: not to mention trying to hold open the door when juggling both things!). The company claims “being inside is the safer option” and as the person said if she could go in with a car she would but she can’t afford a car

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