A CHINESE restaurant owner says her business “has done nothing wrong” after it was accused of discrimination against guide dog users.

Resident Justin Wright, who was out with friends and his guide dog last week, said he will not be visiting Great Wall again, after claims the Chinese takeaway and restaurant on Rollestone Street refused him entry.

Ling Ma, Great Wall owner, said she needed to prioritise the health and safety of other customers already dining before she could guarantee Justin a seat, which led to Justin and his group choosing to leave.

She said the restaurant was already busy on Justin’s arrival Friday evening, April 8, and she wanted to check there were no animal or fur allergies before permitting Justin the only available table upstairs.

As a back up plan the party was then offered seating downstairs.

Despite this, Justin said it “still felt discriminating” to isolate his party on the ground floor, adding: “They should not treat us any differently or offer an inferior service but just show us to a table and carry on as normal.

“I didn’t really notice tables downstairs but got the feeling it was more of a waiting area to pick up takeaways.”

Ling claimed she was not given a chance to reason with the new customers and explain what she was planning for them.

Referring to another member of Justin’s group, Ling said: “We thought it would be most considerate to ask other customers surrounding the free table whether they are allergic to fur or anything similar to that.

“[Justin’s friend] did not give us a chance to explain before pointing his finger at me demanding a seat in the restaurant, saying that he does not care whether anyone is allergic and that he is still going to eat in the restaurant.

“Before we said anything he walked away saying I had caused myself a huge problem and he said that he is going to complain on every platform of ours.

“He also said that it is against the law to not let them in, demanding a seat.”

Finding the situation “upsetting”, Justin has taken his concerns to Guide Dogs, and hopes further training can be delivered to staff.

“Armed with knowledge they would not feel uncomfortable or concerned about giving access to guide dogs in their restaurant,” he said.

Confirming guide dogs are welcome onsite however, Ling said: “Obviously we treat everyone the same, with no advantages or disadvantages to anyone.

“Normally we do serve customers who cannot come up the stairs so they can enjoy the meal as well as the customers upstairs.

“As the owner of this restaurant I have to put the customers who are already in the restaurant first for health and safety reasons.

“I do not think I have done anything wrong in this situation.”

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