The chief executive of Gourmet Burger Kitchen has apologised after a deaf man was asked to leave one of the group's restaurants, apparently because he had his hearing dog with him.
A customer complained after she saw a middle-aged man at the restaurant in Wimbledon being thrown out of the restaurant.
He had a small dog with him, believed to be a cocker spaniel, which was wearing an assistance dog harness and had an ID card on its lead, according to the Evening Standard.
Louise DeNew told the paper: "He was waving the dog's lead with the Hearing Dog badge on it to show it was an assistance dog but the staff just ignored him."
She said she and her partner put in a formal complaint to the manager who stated that "it was GBK policy".
Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said in a statement: "I was very disappointed to learn of the incident at the weekend that occurred in our Wimbledon restaurant.
"At GBK we firmly believe in equality and the treatment of these customers was unacceptable. This in no way reflects the values of the company and we are truly sorry for the upset that was caused. We have taken this matter very seriously.
"All our restaurants accept assistance dogs and we are taking immediate action to ensure this doesn't happen again.
"We are reviewing all training and are re-communicating with all members of staff regarding our inclusive policy.
"In the meantime we have been in touch with the customer affected to apologise and have resolved the situation directly.
"Again, we would like to apologise sincerely if we have offended anyone through this matter."
No-one from GBK was available for further comment.
Videos from The Caterer archives