An elderly couple from Virginia, recently given a rude heave-ho by management at their local McDonald’s, are getting a free meal out of the burger chain’s admission of guilt – lots and lots of free meals that is, though not at the McD’s where they were shamed.
According to Yahoo! Odd News on Friday, 87-year-old Carl and 81-year-old Barbara Becker of Rixeyville, Virginia are enjoying free meals for life at another local restaurant after their experience, summarized in a complaint letter they wrote, went viral.
The couple says employees at the Culpeper, Va. McDonald’s – where the pair regularly enjoy a mid-afternoon snack they call “scrunch” – kicked them out of the restaurant because they were sitting “too long.”
Mrs. Becker told WTTG Fox 5 that employees were cleaning near them and asked them, sarcastically, if the cleaning bothered the Beckers.
“The dust started kicking up and it was just flying everywhere and [the female employee] says, ‘Does this bother you?’ And I said, ‘Only if you like to eat dirt does it not bother me,’” Barbara reported, adding that the manager then approached the couple.
“He says, ‘You two have to leave. Your half hour’s up and we have to clean this floor, now,’” recalled the great-grandmother of 14.
Carl, a World War II veteran, adds: "I never had an experience like that in my life," and said the two of them searched for any evidence of a 30-minute limit on seating. There is none; it was fabricated by the staff.
The Becker’s letter to the Virginia Star Exponent, seen here in its entirety, exploded on social media.
In part, their letter read:
On Feb. 21, at approximately 3 p.m., my wife and I went to the Culpeper McDonald's for our daily break, which we have done many times in the past years. It's a time to share our thoughts, plans, and dreams for tomorrow. As we are 81, and 85 respectively, it's a sweet time of fellowship, which we enjoy, which helps sustain our marriage of 63 years. We usually go in the early afternoon when there are fewer customers.
Carl goes on to recount what happened to them, closing the letter with:
As gracefully as we could, under the circumstances, we quietly excused ourselves and left with a topic of conversation we will remember for many years to come. The situation was so unbelievable, that it didn't so much as raise a feeling of hostility, or embarrassment – but this may not be the case with others. I think the old adage of forewarned, is forearmed is applicable in this case.
The franchise owner of the Culpeper McDonald’s, Bob Drumheller, issued a statement to WTOP:
I care deeply about the comfort and satisfaction of my customers. My organization takes these matters seriously, and is investigating the customer's claims. I have also reached out to the customer to extend my apologies for this misunderstanding. Our focus will continue to be on serving our customers and providing them a welcoming experience.
Yahoo! picks up the story:
Once the letter was printed, the story quickly spread across social media. One of the people who saw the Beckers’ story was Shawn Moss, owner of Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ in Culpeper. Moss says he believes strongly in customer service and wanted to do something for the couple. He decided to offer the octogenarians free “scrunch” one day a week, for life. Remembering that Carl was a World War II veteran, Moss said, “We’re also going to do a ‘Scrunch Day’ on Wednesday, and offer free coffee to all seniors and veterans.”
What was the remuneration that McDonald’s offered for embarrassing the seniors? Coupons for two free coffees.
Good for Shawn’s Smokehouse, who is getting hearty plug from this author, for reaching out to the couple, and shame on McDonald’s for treating two of our aged citizens that way, both over the initial disgrace and the joke of a “compensation” for their humiliation.