McDonald's criticized after new toilets with code locks cause diners to wet themselves
Spokeswoman for the fast food chain said during a conversation with ABC that it was the decision of the store and not company policy to lock bathroom doors to visitors
McDonald's newly-deployed bathroom policies have caused some unprecedented 'accidents' and cooked up a controversy as diners in Australia are complaining about the new rules on social media.
As per the new policy, customers have to first place their order and use the code on the bottom of the receipt to access the franchise's toilets in Maroochydore, Queensland. The system is already in place at numerous outlets of the fast-food chain in the UK.
Several people took to social media to complain that the amount of time it takes to use the facilities due to the said policy has already caused one 'accident' and a number of other near-misses, reported 9News Australia.
Kim McDonald, a Maroochydore resident, shared a picture of the signboard informing prospective customers of the policy. The sign, that was attached to the toilet door, read: “Toilets proudly provided for the use of McDonald’s customers. Code on bottom of receipt.”
After visiting the fast food store for lunch with her 90-year-old grandmother, McDonald was stunned to read the message on the board and immediately posted an image of the same on social media.
McDonald claims that her grandmother took five minutes to walk from the parking lot to the toilets owing to the fact that she has to use a walker to get around. Upon reaching the facilities, the duo realized that they had to walk all the way back and order in order to use them.
“At least 10 or so minutes would have passed where a near 90-year-old has had to hold their bladder,” McDonald wrote.
“They are lucky they didn't need to get out the mop and buckets. And probably lucky I didn't have my kids with me too.”
While she presumed that the new locks may have been deployed in order to stop drunk youths from wreaking havoc in the toilets late at night, she described the system as a “bit of an overkill”.
“Why can't the doors be unlocked until a later time like 8 pm or something to allow easy access to the bathrooms for kids, pregnant ladies, and disabled or elderly people?” McDonald wrote.
Another woman, Jo Anne, took to Facebook a couple of weeks earlier to complain about the coded locks saying that her child had an "accident" due to the new toilet policy.
“Today, my five-year-old had an accident because you lock the toilets and only put the code on the receipt,” she said.
“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.”
Furthermore, she asserted that the said store "failed" to meet the standard she expected from McDonald's restaurants.
“I appreciate some businesses can’t afford to have the public coming in and out to just use facilities, but there is a standard expected at McDonald’s… you failed.”
Jo Anne's criticism was responded to by a spokesperson for McDonald's, saying that they would raise the complaint with the Maroochydore outlet.
Another spokeswoman for the fast food chain said during a conversation with ABC that it was the decision of the store and not company policy to lock bathroom doors to visitors.
"It’s something the licensee decided to implement in response to safety concerns raised by customers about some people misusing the bathrooms. However, they are able to be opened for anyone who requires them."
Pay-to-go policies are quite common in Europe, where a small fee is expected to be paid in order to use a public restroom facility. However, the practice is not all too usual in Australia.