Burger King is facing outrage from customers after a deaf woman claimed she was denied service due to her disability.
The controversy started when Rachel Hollis, who is deaf, stopped for food with her two sons at one of the chain's locations in Oklahoma City. In a now-viral video recorded last week, an employee at the drive-thru is shown telling her he's unable to serve her at the window.
"I had my order ready, I had it typed on my phone. I do that often when I go through drive-thrus, it hasn’t ever been an issue," Hollis told KFOR-TV through an interpreter. "I show him my order, and he gives me this face of frustration."
Hollis said the employee, who has not been identified, gave her a note saying that the restaurant was too busy and that she'd have to come inside to order. Feeling uneasy, she started recording the encounter on her phone.
"You have to come inside. It’s too busy," the employee says in the video. "I can’t do a full order at the window I’m sorry. It has nothing to do with your disability, I have a disability, too."
Hollis told KFOR that she refused to leave the window, which led to the restaurant calling the police. Eventually, another employee came to the window and took her order.
"That’s crazy, it just doesn’t seem right," Hollis told KFOR.
Now, Burger King is taking steps to amend the issue. The fast-food chain told TODAY on Wednesday that the employee seen in the video has been fired, adding that the entire restaurant will undergo sensitivity training.
"All guests should be treated with respect and provided with a high level of service at our restaurants. The restaurant owner has reached out to the guest and her family to apologize, the employee was terminated and all employees at the location will undergo additional sensitivity training to ensure our customers always feel welcomed," Burger King told TODAY in a statement.
The company's apology comes after plenty of backlash from social media users, some of whom called for others to boycott the burger restaurant.
@BurgerKing your workers told a deaf woman they “didn’t have time to serve her” and laughed at her then called the cops on her. That’s unacceptable! I’m a server and bartender who serves all sorts of people with impairments and this is just sick. https://t.co/O9MZJEz8AE— Littlebirdie (@Lilbirdytoldme1) August 22, 2019
Burger King handled the incident in Oklahoma City wherein a deaf mother struggled to place a written order for a meal for her two sons with exemplary fairness. When we disabled citizens can't patronize local businesses, it makes life very difficult for us. pic.twitter.com/xrOm17baDk— Sean Lawlor Nelson (@HornedPoet) August 25, 2019
welp time to do it with burger king now for not serving a deaf woman #boycottburgerking— Jacob (@sjr091) August 25, 2019
Last week, sandwich chain Jimmy John's faced similar boycott threats after photos of the company's CEO posing with a dead elephant resurfaced online. Jimmy John Liautaud, who also founded the restaurant, has been known to hunt and kill large animals since at least 2002.