Mum says McDonald’s ‘forced’ her to buy burger, despite son only wanting bap

An angry mum has slammed McDonald's after being "forced" to buy a full-price burger, even though she only wanted an empty bun for her autistic son.

Sara Clark claimed staff refused to sell her the 40p bun, even though eight-year-old Corey only wanted the bread.

She says she had previously been able to buy a bun, with staff charging her the 40p price of a sauce pot, but her most recent attempt ended with her having to buy Corey two burgers instead, with their contents ending up in the bin.

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Sara, from Stourport-on-Severn, said Corey, who has a severe eating disorder as well as autism and ADHD, was "afraid of food" and would starve himself rather than eat food he did not want.

McDonald's apologised to Sara but said prices for individual item requests were at the "discretion of the restaurant".

“Corey loves the bread at McDonald's, he’s eaten there for years,” she said.

“We previously went into a branch in Walsall a few weeks ago and asked for just a plain burger bun.

"The manager said it wasn’t a problem and put them through the till as a sauce pot for 40p which I thought was a great price and very accommodating of them.

“But the last couple of times I’ve been they told me they would only put them through as a complete burger and we had to pay full price.

"I told the manager Corey didn't want the cheese, the meat, sauce or anything – he just wanted the bread.

“She told me it didn’t matter and they wouldn’t discount the price."

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Sara said she explained the specifics of her son’s condition to two managers at the branch in Daw End Lane, Rushall, but to no avail.

She said staff at restaurants needed to be more aware of eating disorders and work harder to accommodate families of children with complex needs.

Corey has been seen by more than six dieticians and diagnosed with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) after choking as a baby.

ARFID is a pattern of eating that avoids certain foods entirely and/or is restricted in quantity.

A McDonald's spokesperson said: “We’re sorry to hear this customer’s experience did not meet their expectation on this occasion. Our restaurant teams strive to accommodate special requests or requirements wherever possible, and are passionate about making every customer’s experience with us is the best it can be.

"While, in this case, the team were able to provide the product as requested, our kiosks do not have the ability to change the cost of a product, regardless of which ingredients are added or removed in the personalisation process – so they would have been unable to alter the price."

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