McDonald's Customer Blocks Drive-Thru For Hours Until He Gets Refund

An irate McDonald's customer barricaded a drive-thru by refusing to move his car from the serving window for two hours — in a row over McMuffins.

The bizarre stand-off only ended when police were called to encourage Stuart Yates to drive away from the fast food restaurant in the British county of Lancashire.

Yates, 55, had been asked to wait in the car park at the branch in the town of Leyland on Sunday (May 22), due to a delay serving his sausage and egg treats. But he suspected workers of playing a trick on him because he'd been forced to wait 20 minutes the last time he ordered a meal.

Yates, suspecting he was being treated unfairly, refused to move until he was given a refund. The situation escalated, with accusations and counter-accusations flying.

McDonald's sign
A McDonald's customer blocked the drive-thru at one location while demanding a refund. Shown above is the sign for a McDonald's restaurant in Stoke on Trent, England on December 10, 2021. Nathan Stirk / Contributor/Getty

A video, apparently filmed by a McDonald's employee trying to document the dispute, was posted on the British website LadBible. The footage showed Yates in his car explaining his motivation. He said he had waited "20 minutes last week" and added: "When I pulled up, the guy in the background said, 'Oh, it's him again!' and they went, 'Oh yeah!' [and] had a laugh about it and said [to me], 'Go and wait in the car park over there.' ... [The worker said] 'It's not going to be 15 or 20 minutes, it's whatever it will be.' And that was the attitude.

"Then I said, '[I want] a refund'. He said, 'There you go,' and threw [the] change on to the car. And I paid by card. I'm quite within my rights to ask for a refund back on to my card."

Towards the latter part of Yates' explanation, the worker can be heard replying: "That's completely not what happened.' The employee said he was present during the situation and insisted what Yates was saying was not correct.

During the incident, a member of staff said: "The other cars have managed to reverse out, but now he won't move. We asked him to park up and he wouldn't, so now he's just sat there. He only wanted a small order. It would have only taken a minute. Now he's refusing to move, he wouldn't park, he wouldn't accept the food, he wouldn't accept a refund. He's been sat there for a good 20 minutes now."

Yates later told LadBible he was refusing to move until the refund had been processed onto the same bank card he had paid with and was prepared to wait there for "a week" if necessary.

So he sat in his parked car, blocking the drive-thru lane as the hours ticked past.

Police were called and Yates finally drove home. Speaking after the incident, he told the website: "They eventually gave me a refund and tried passing me a long letter they had typed out, but I refused to accept it. I hadn't sworn, I hadn't done anything threatening. I hadn't broken any laws."

Yates confirmed that he never got his McMuffins, but drove straight home afterward and ordered two Big Macs from McDonald's on delivery app Uber Eats instead.

A McDonald's spokesperson told Newsweek: "We are aware of an incident that took place at our Leyland drive-thru around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. We would like to thank our team for handling the situation calmly and professionally. We will continue to support the police with any inquiries."

The incident comes just days after another customer became enraged at the amount of time her order took at the fast food giant. A pregnant woman's craving for McDonald's ended up with her facing a string of charges after she allegedly smashed up the restaurant and then twerked aggressively on her way out in an incident caught on security camera that went viral online. The customer was branded a "McNut" by police, who accused Tianis Jones, 22, of being the woman in the footage in Lakeland, Florida, on Thursday.

Update 05/25/22, 11:43 p.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from a McDonald's spokesperson.