Subway sorry for kicking out former athlete with guide dog

Screengrabs from the video of the incident. Photos: Sophie Soon/Facebook
Screengrabs from the video of the incident. Photos: Sophie Soon/Facebook

A former athlete said today that Subway had apologized for ejecting her from a restaurant because she had a guide dog.

Subway said the employee who refused her service mistakenly thought dogs were not allowed in the Halal-certified restaurant. But Singapore’s Islamic Religious Council has said no such thing and allows guide dogs into Halal-certified premises. 

“Subway has properly reached out to me and they’ve expressed their deepest apologies for what I faced yesterday and actions will be taken against the employee who was being rude to me,” paraplegic former swimmer Sophie Soon wrote online after the incident.

Soon, who competed in the 2015 ASEAN Para Games, suffers from cone rod dystrophy, which results in deteriorating vision and requires the use of a guide dog. 

She put up a video of the incident that happened at Subway’s Kallang Wave Mall outlet yesterday, where the employee could be seen gesturing for her to leave the premises.

“Today, a server at Subway (Kallang Wave Mall) not only refused to allow me entry, but also refused to talk to me and yelled at me for trying to get him to talk to me instead of my friend,” her video caption read. The video did not capture the alleged yelling. 

“He insisted that Subway is a Halal restaurant and guide dogs are not supported by MUIS (they are btw),” she added.

Subway did not immediately respond to Coconuts Singapore’s request for comment. However, Soon has put up screenshots of her exchange with a rep from the fast food restaurant. 

According to Soon, Subway promised that it would “educate” its employees about allowing guide dogs and providing support to people with disabilities. 

A meeting has also been scheduled with her and members of charity group Guide Dogs Singapore next week to raise awareness on the issue. 

She said Subway promised her a compensatory meal.

“Myself and [the] Guide Dogs Singapore team will be meeting up with them next week to discuss more on what employees should be aware of when it comes to guide dogs in restaurants (and also claiming a free meal yay!),” she wrote online.

Guide Dogs Singapore last year said it had worked with 370 visually impaired clients and paired six dogs with people, including Soon, who provided a testimonial about her experience.

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