CHAMPION, Ohio - The owners of a local McDonald's have responded to 21 News about a Facebook post alleging their employees made derogatory comments about a group of mentally-disabled adults that dined in the restaurant.
In the Facebook post making its way around the Internet, Thomas Soltis Jr. alleges employees at the McDonald's on Mahoning Avenue in Champion Township made the derogatory remarks about a group of residents from Boyd's Kinsman Home who stopped at the restaurant for lunch on November 10.
Soltis says he and his family were at the restaurant around 6 p.m. that same day when employees were talking about the group.
In an email to 21 News, owners David and Brenda Rieger write: "We are absolutely appalled by the allegations of behavior in one of our restaurants. Our staff knows that we have a special needs child ourselves and would never, under any circumstances, tolerate disparaging anyone. Our investigation thus far has not identified anything derogatory, but we're actively looking into these claims and will take appropriate action if warranted. We're also reminding all of our restaurant teams about our organization's core values of respect and dignity for every guest who visits our restaurants."
A spokesperson for the Boyd's Kinsman Home says the group of 20-30 residents took a day trip that Sunday that included a stop at the McDonald's for lunch around noon, and staff reported the outing was a great time.
The Boyd's Kinsman Home is a live-in facility for adults with special needs and developmental disabilities.
The spokesperson described the men and women who live at the Boyd's home as well-mannered and says she has never had any complaints from restaurants they dine at or the venues they visit. She also says some restaurants have even contacted her to say how organized and clean they were for such a large group of people.
After hearing about the incident, she says she spoke with David Rieger who had just heard about the Facebook post and allegations.
She says the only thing she asked of him was for education and retraining for his staff when it comes to mentally disabled adults.
Soltis has spoken to the Riegers about the incident and they plan to meet within the week.