A blind woman claims she was kicked out of a Subway restaurant – for having a GUIDE DOG.
Clare Matthews, 36, treated her 13-year-old son Paul to lunch and took a seat in the branch alongside her faithful companion Keisha.
But she claims they were abruptly ordered out of the eaterie for breaching its ‘no dogs’ policy.
Clare, from Knowle, Bristol, is demanding a full apology from the restaurant chain, which has more than 1,400 outlets nationwide.
She said: “They were more than happy to take my money, but as soon as we sat down to eat our food, they wanted us out of the store as quick as a flash.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – the blatant discrimination is appalling.
“They were happy to take my money, but didn’t want me in the shop – it’s disgraceful.”
Clare visited the branch in Broadwalk Shopping Centre, Knowle, on June 8 and paid #6 for a turkey and ham sandwich for her son and a tuna and cheese sandwich meal deal for herself.
She said: “It was lunchtime and the shop was quite busy.
“We queued up to get our food like everyone else but when we sat down and started eating, a worker, who my son thinks is the manager, came out to tell us we had to leave because of the dog.
“I tried to explain it was a guide dog but it was like he didn’t care at all.
“He said there was a ‘no dogs’ policy and we were made to leave the shop in the middle of our lunch.
“It was so shameful – I left the store crying my eyes out. It was tough, I felt like such a victim.
“I am disgusted at the way I feel I was treated and I think it is disgraceful that I get kicked out of Subway like that.
“It’s hardly the Ritz – but you expect better treatment than that.
“I can’t help that I have got an eyesight problem.
“In some places there are signs saying ‘No dogs except guide dogs’, which is understandable but here there was nothing.
“I know for a fact that other Subway shops take guide dogs because I have been in a handful in Bristol and never had a problem.”
The mum-of-one suffers from cone rod dystrophy – a medical condition which affects her central vision.
Four-year-old black Labrador Keisha is the partially sighted housewife’s third guide dog.
But Debu Dhar, the franchisee who runs the Subway branch, claims Clare’s dog was bothering other customers.
He said: “She is a regular customer, and we value all our customers, so my manager asked her very politely if she could keep her dog under a bit more control.
“She was not asked to leave – her dog was just licking other customers, and that is not on when people are eating.
“Of course we would never dream of excluding someone from our store because they had a guide dog.”
Subway spokeswoman Holly Dedman said: “We want to reassure our customers that working guide dogs are always allowed in Subway stores, even though we don’t allow other pets in stores.
“All Subway stores are independently owned and operated by franchisees.
“We are aware of an incident at the Broadwalk store and are investigating the case at this particular franchise.”