A traveller has hit out at “disgusting and discriminatory” treatment from KFC after he was refused service at a drive-through because he was riding a horse and cart.
Ian Bell, 55, queued up at a branch of the fast food chain in Carlisle, Cumbria but was told he wouldn’t be allowed to order because he was on a cart pulled by his seven-year-old Irish cob Jon Jon.
He said: “I had queued up behind some cars and was about to order a Bargain Bucket when all of a sudden this manager came out and said 'you're not allowed through'.”
Bell isn’t the only one who has been craving fast food, with queues spotted at chains across the country when they reopened as part of the easing of lockdown restrictions.
He said: “I couldn't believe what I was hearing, I'd done nothing wrong. Jon Jon was behaving himself, he was quiet as a lamb - he's a very well-behaved horse.
“In the end I had to go to McDonald's for a Big Mac. No one there batted an eyelid, they didn't say anything to me at all, they just served me my food.”
He added: “I think my treatment from KFC has been downright disgusting and discriminatory against people who use horse and carts.
"The horse and cart is a common way to get around where I'm from.”
The 55-year-old argued that “horse and carts were around long before motor cars” and said he still couldn’t understand why he hadn’t been allowed to order.
But KFC has defended the manager’s decision, insisting that horse-drawn vehicles aren’t allowed through drive-throughs because of the safety of its guests.
A spokesman said: “Hold your horses Carlisle. We’re not looking to stirrup trouble and we’re sorry for Ian and Jon Jon’s experience – but the safety of our guests is really important, so we can’t allow horse drawn vehicles in our drive-thrus.”
Ian, who lives in the nearby town of Silloth, said he often takes Jon Jon to Carlisle in a car and horse box before setting up the carriage and trotting around the streets.
He said: “Going around in the horse and carriage is just something I like to do. It's also good training for Jon Jon.”