A student with disabilities said his 21st birthday was ruined after he was denied entry to a TGI Fridays because it was not wheelchair accessible.
Aaron Diskin, who attends Salford University, planned to celebrate his birthday in TGI Fridays Prestwich but was asked to relocate after an issue with an extractor fan.
While travelling to the chain’s Trafford Centre branch, he received a call from the manager telling him he wouldn’t be able to get in.
Aaron said: “The manager told me that the only table big enough to hold 26 people was upstairs and the only way to get up was via a set of three steps.
“There was a lot of anger. How is it right in 2020 that they don’t have a lift in such a building as The Trafford Centre to accommodate disabled people.”
Aaron had family travelling from places as far away as Newcastle and Bedfordshire.
He added: “It was going to be such a lovely occasion with family and friends around the table, and it is sad that it was ruined by something which could have been so easily avoided.”
After Aaron complained, TGI bosses offered an email of apology and promised an Amazon voucher as a peace offering, but the amount is yet to be confirmed.
The party decided to return to Aaron’s house and ordered KFC instead. Later that night, the restaurant sent a server to their house in a taxi to return the cake and balloons.
In a statement, TGI Fridays said: “At TGI Fridays we endeavour to ensure our restaurants offer accessibility for all our guests.
An investigation will be conducted into this incident and we have spoken directly with the customer to understand the circumstances surrounding it.”
Aaron said he wasn’t satisfied with the treatment he received from the restaurant giant.
He said: “There isn’t a reason in 2020 to for not being able to put a birthday party on for someone in a wheelchair.
“As far as I am concerned, I am never rolling into a TGI Fridays again.”