Members of the group, Jigsaw, met at the Wellington Hotel pub in Bury, and were allegedly refused food because they had only booked the table for drinks.
Annabel Chappell posted on Facebook: “I have been left completely stunned by an act of blatant discrimination at the hands of the Wellington Hotel Greene King pub in Bury. I am a carer for an 18-year-old girl with complex needs. We go to a group every week specifically for people with physical disabilities and complex needs.”
She continued by explaining that she attends the monthly meetings where members can chat about activities they do and don’t enjoy with food and drink. She also mentioned the group had been to the pub before and were known to the business.
Chappell added: “As we arrived, we were told that we were unable to order food. Confused, I confronted one of the members of staff behind the bar. She informed me that in their bookings diary our group had been noted down with the side note of ‘no food’. When I asked why this was the case, she said she was just following instructions not to take any food orders from our group and that the chefs said they would not make any food for us either.”
“Although I explained that most people in the group would just want a side order, a snack to nibble on and that we weren’t expecting it to all come out together, she still refused service. To add insult to injury, when I asked what would happen if a rush of people came through the door and wanted to order food, she replied that she would serve them food and tell them there was a wait. When I asked why this was different for our group, I did not get an answer.
“Complete refusal to serve us. For a group of people without handicaps this would be outrageous. However, as our group were being dropped off and picked up from this pub at certain times and most would not be able to walk to a different place for food or would get distressed by this anyway, it is a complete violation of basic hospitality and human rights. To make matters worse, a lot of people within the group, such as the girl I care for, cannot express their own points, as she is non-verbal and would not understand why they are not allowed to order their tea. Completely astonished that this sort of thing is allowed to happen in 2016.”
The Wellington posted on their Facebook page: “We are very sorry for the distress caused by the decision taken last week. We are investigating why this happened and we have apologised directly to the party. We pride ourselves on providing a warm and welcoming environment for all and we have a strict policy against discrimination of any kind.”
A spokesperson for the pub added: “We are investigating why the usual great dining experience that every guest can expect when they visit us was not met on this occasion and we are in contact with the party to make things right.”
The sports and social group Jigsaw said: “Jigsaw is aware of the incident and have been in communication with the brewery and waiting for the outcome of the investigation.”
Earlier this year, concerned licensees hit back at a report which argued that pubs breaching the Equality Act by not providing facilities for disabled people should be refused a licence or shut down.