Horseback customer denied at drive-thru gets apology
Published Saturday, September 3, 2011 9:42PM EDT
Tim Hortons has apologized to a customer on horseback after staff at an Alberta location refused to let him trot past the drive-thru for a coffee last weekend.
Staff at a Tim Hortons franchise in Lethbridge, Alta., were startled last Saturday when Phil Corman rode a large grey horse up to their drive-thru window and asked for a large double-double.
The local horse trainer was immediately denied service.
Corman said he's never had a problem ordering a coffee on horseback before.
"There's lots of people that have done it," he told CTV Edmonton.
Corman notes that, in the past, he's successfully ordered coffee on horseback in places where riding a horse through town is illegal.
"I've been through drive-thrus in Kelowna — even Strathmore, where you're not allowed to ride a horse in town," he said.
Shortly after Corman was turned down, the Lethbridge coffee shop received dozens of complaints from the community.
By Friday, Corman and his horse were trotting through the Tim Hortons drive-thru to enjoy a coffee and an apology. Straddling his fuel-friendly vehicle, Corman towered over the drive-thru window as he leaned forward to pay for his double-double.
With a red cup in one hand and a rein in the other, Corman trotted away from the line of cars — savouring a long-overdue coffee break.
Corman said he understands why some might have been alarmed by the sight of a horse at a drive-thru.
"Most [people] are astounded, amazed that you could bring a horse through a drive-thru," he said.
Drive-thru do's and don'ts
While Corman's horseback dilemma has been solved, there is still much debate about what is and isn't allowed at drive-thrus.
Two years ago, a naked drive-thru run turned into a legal crusade after staff at an A&W in Bracebridge, Ont. refused to serve a man who was sitting in his car without any clothes on.
Brian Coldin, who runs a clothing-optional resort, was charged with public nudity. He continues to fight those charges, arguing that public nudity shouldn't be a criminal offence.
In England, a woman riding a horse-drawn carriage was turned away from a McDonald's drive-thru last May because staff considered her vehicle a health and safety hazard, reported The Daily Mail.
Faced with fast-food rejection, the woman reportedly steered her carriage towards the nearest KFC where staff were willing to take her order.
Even cyclists have been refused service in some drive-thru lanes.
Video-sharing website YouTube is flooded with clips of cyclists trying steer their pedal-powered bikes past drive-thru windows. Some succeed while others are unsuccessful.
In one YouTube video, a young man hunches over a pink children's bicycle with training wheels as he approaches a McDonald's drive-thru speaker.
"It's got two wheels, it's a vehicle," the man tells a McDonald's employee who is off-camera. The employee urges him to get out of the drive-thru lane and walk through the restaurant's front doors instead.
Meanwhile, trying to cruise through drive-thrus in non-traditional vehicles appears to be an urban pastime for some. A Facebook page for people who say they'd like to try walking through a McDonald's drive-thru has accumulated close to 20,000 members.
With files from CTV Edmonton