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Franco Manca apologises after turning away blind man with guide dog

A Franco Manca in London has apologised following an incident where a blind man and his guide dog were told they would have to stay outside.

Dave Kent, 58, who has been blind for 40 years was refused entry to the Tottenham Court Road branch of Franco Manca in London on Tuesday lunchtime, where he was attending a business meeting.

Kent said door staff had refused him entry because of his guide dog and asked him to sit outside, but the manager was called after Kent pressed the matter. He provided an identification card which states it is illegal to refuse entry to guide dogs and was still refused entry.

Franco Manca has since apologised and given Kent a voucher for a free meal in the restaurant. An engagement officer for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association said the voucher was not enough, telling media: “They just think ‘give them a voucher and they will go away’.

The incident sparked outrage on social media with one person calling Franco Manca’s response “dreadful” while another said he had cancelled his booking because of it.

A spokeswoman for Franco Manca said: “All service dogs are welcome in our pizzerias. This, unfortunately, is the result of an error from individual staff members in one restaurant. We are taking the relevant steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again and have spoken directly with the customer in question to apologise and ensure he knows he is welcome at any of our pizzerias.”

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