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Burger King operator apologizes after turning away truck driver at drive-thru

Posted at 5:45 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 08:22:03-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A company that owns and operates more than 1,000 Burger King and Popeyes restaurants across the country, apologized Wednesday after a truck driver who walked up to one of their drive-thrus to place an order was turned away.

Chris Sensing says the incident happened Tuesday at the Burger King on Lebanon Pike near Briley Parkway in Donelson.

Sensing is a truck driver who cannot use the drive-thru because of the height of his semi. With dining rooms shut down across the state due to COVID-19, Sensing walked up to the drive-thru window to place an order.

Sensing recorded a video of the interaction that happened next, posting it to Facebook.

The employee at the drive-thru window turned Sensing away, saying they were only allowed to take orders from people in vehicles at the drive-thru, not those who walk up to the window.

"Sir, we have to follow the rules that we’re told, I’m just following the rules," said the Burger King employee.

At another point in the video, the employee tells Sensing that they are not allowed to take his order "because you’re a liability."

"It did kind of offend me because all I wanted was something to eat," Sensing said Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, Carrols Restaurant Group, the company that operates the Burger King in question, admitted it screwed up. In an email, a region director for Carrols said the company's policy of not allowing walk-ups at the drive-thru had been changed at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, but, “unfortunately the Manager involved did not receive the communication however this has been corrected.”

But Sensing says with so many fast food chains and even more franchise owners across the state, this kind of communication problem is probably not limited to just one restaurant.

"This is happening in multiple states, it's happening in Tennessee a lot, they're falling through the cracks," Sensing said.

You can read the entire response from Carrols Restaurant Group below:

Our previous policy of “No Walk-ups allowed at Drive-thru” was changed at the beginning of the Covid -19 crisis. We should be allowing Truck drivers to be served at the Drive thru window and pick up at one of the entry doors. We understand the issue with Truck drivers not being able to go thru the Drive thru and have sent out previous communication to our Teams. The district manager has reached out to the driver involved and was able to speak with his wife. We have apologized for the incident and have assured him that he is welcome to visit our restaurants. Unfortunately the Manager involved did not receive the communication however this has been corrected.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.