A gran was left gobsmacked when she sent McDonald’s “horrendous” photos of their “filthy” restaurant, only for staff to take it as a compliment.
Ceri Pepper, 61, said she was “grossed out” by the mess she found at Crossways Parc branch in Caerphilly while she was there to treat her family.
Photos show staff standing in spillages and dirt, while the kitchen is littered with nuggets, chips and lettuce across the floor and serving area. Many of the surfaces and units were encrusted with sauces and one staff member struggled to hold a bottle of toffee sauce as it was coated in sticky liquid, Ceri said.
“It was gross. They’d kicked all the food underneath the units too,” Ceri, from Caerphilly, said. “It was horrible. It wasn’t just one or two bits on the floor that could be picked up – it was horrendous. The floor was dirty. It’s not just walked in food – it’s walked in dirt.
“[A member of staff] was holding up the toffee sauce bottle with two fingers for my McFlurry because the bottle was encrusted in sauce and she couldn’t hold it properly because it was so sticky.
“I looked at the rest of the area and thought ‘oh my goodness’. The general eating area was like that too. All the orders were piled up. They weren’t cleaning anything. It was just piling up and piling up. I should have just said can I have a refund but I just went outside and put all the food in the bin.”
After quizzing staff about the state of the restaurant, Ceri claims she was told they were simply “too busy” to clean. A McDonald’s spokesman has since said it was an “exceptionally busy time” and “extra cleaning” took place as soon as they were made aware of the issue.
Despite spending £14 on three triple cheeseburgers, two fries and two McFlurrys, the horrified gran says she left the restaurant and binned the food as she ‘didn’t want to take the risk.
To make matters worse, when Ceri complained to McDonald’s on social media and showed them the shocking images, the chain replied saying: “Thanks for letting us know, we love to hear when our restaurants impress with their cleanliness. I’ll pass your compliments onto the restaurant and staff members.”
Ceri said: “When I saw their response on social media, I was gobsmacked. I thought ‘are they having a joke? Are they taking this seriously at all?’
“I phoned Environmental Health and sent them the photos. The lady I spoke to said it wasn’t acceptable and they needed to be going in. She said even if they were busy it wasn’t acceptable.”
In response to the bizarre reply from McDonald’s, social media users urged their team to ‘go to Specsavers’.
After Ceri called environmental health, a council spokesman confirmed that they have “requested remedial actions to be undertaken by the restaurant” and will be performing a follow-up visit.
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Ceri, who later took her family to another McDonald’s, claims she hasn’t returned to the Crossways branch since because she didn’t want to “take the risk”.
“The staff] were oblivious to it,” Ceri said. “I was watching them. I even stood there in front of them and they were even oblivious to me being there. As I came out I said to a young girl ‘isn’t anyone cleaning today’ and she said ‘we’re too busy’. That was it.
“At the moment, the emphasis is on hygiene and I didn’t want to take that risk. I don’t know what went on. Normally it’s very clean but it’d gone to pot. There are other staff on at other times and they’re so pristine. I’ve seen both sides to the coin.
“You’d think at this time, they’d be overboard on the hygiene. Whatever staff were on at that time were appalling, but the other staff are right on the ball and I’d like them to be mentioned.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Hygiene and cleanliness is of the utmost importance to us and we apologise to the customer for her experience.
“This was an exceptionally busy time for the restaurant, and as soon as the issue was brought to the attention of our franchisee the restaurant operated Drive Thru only for a short period, to allow for extra cleaning to take place.”
A spokesman for Caerphilly Council confirmed they are dealing with a complaint about the premises and have requested remedial actions to be undertaken by the restaurant. A follow up visit is planned for [Wednesday].
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