Cairns woman Cassandra Pajor's online rant about a McDonald's store refusing to serve a group of indigenous girls after 10pm at night has gone viral.
Cairns woman Cassandra Pajor's online rant about a McDonald's store refusing to serve a group of indigenous girls after 10pm at night has gone viral.

Popular fast-food store denies viral rant’s racism claims

A POPULAR fast-food restaurant in Far North Queensland has been forced to deny claims of racism after an online rant which went viral.

Cairns woman Cassandra Pajor said while she was entering the McDonald's store after a night out with friends, she was approached by a small group of indigenous girls, who asked her if she could buy them some ice creams.

What followed next made her "blood boil", she said.

"My Saturday night started with dinner and drinks in town celebrating a mate's 21st and I ended it with a cheeseburger and a taxi," the mum-of-two said.

"So when a small group (of girls) asked if I'd get them some ice creams, I happily obliged.

"These girls were well dressed, wearing shoes and were not lurking, smoking, drinking, jeering or presenting in a way that would insinuate they were up to mischief," she said.

"They look like they'd just finished at the movies and wanted something to eat."

Ms Pajor said the girls explained they had been told by McDonald's staff that under-18s could not be served after 10pm.

"So off I went, across the street to the get some ice cream cones and my cheeseburger."

While Ms Pajor was waiting for her order, she said she watched staff serve another group of teenagers, who then sat at a table in the restaurant "in clear sight" of a staff member.

"Noone had produced ID or had been asked their age," she said.

"I approached the table, and had a confused exchange with them.

"Yes, the group were 16 and 17 years of age, dressed casually as though they'd been to movies or the beach (and) no, they were not asked for ID."

"This was a double standard."

When she asked one of the indigenous girls to try to order an ice cream cone to "test the theory", Ms Pajor said the girl was refused service.

"I step up to the counter (and) I pose the question: "why aren't you serving this girl?" she said.

Cairns woman Cassandra Pajor's online rant about a McDonald's store refusing to serve a group of indigenous girls after 10pm at night has gone viral.
Cairns woman Cassandra Pajor's online rant about a McDonald's store refusing to serve a group of indigenous girls after 10pm at night has gone viral.

"I'm met by (a staff member) who explains she's underage and not to be served. I point to the table at the back of restaurant housing my newly-acquired underage comrades, and state loudly enough to be overheard: "you've just served under age kids in your restaurant, so why can't you serve this girl?"

After being told to lower her voice, Ms Pajor said she turned to address the entire restaurant, "emotionally, but very clearly".

"(I said) if anyone under 18 in this establishment has been served and not asked for ID, can you please raise your hand?" she said.

"Again, I'm told to lower my voice, while three teenagers firmly raised their hands."

Ms Pajor said staff at the store once again told her that police had directed them not to serve under-18s after 10pm at night, but did not address the "double standard".

McDonald's licensee Christine Vincent said she welcomed everyone into her restaurants and there was no policy to refuse service to anyone late at night, regardless of age or cultural background, unless they were displaying bad behaviour.

"I've owned and operated restaurants in Cairns for almost 15 years and we welcome everyone in our local community," Ms Vincent said.

"We have no such policy, and I am very proud to employ people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

"I've owned and operated restaurants in Cairns for almost 15 years and we welcome everyone in our local community," Ms Vincent said.

"We have no such policy, and I am very proud to employ people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

"I don't tolerate racism in my restaurants and I'd love to speak with this customer directly to allow me to look in to this further.

"When necessary, in cooperation with local police, we will deny service to people exhibiting anti-social behaviour, or being disruptive to other customers - this is regardless of their age or background."

Far North District assistant district officer Superintendent Geoff Sheldon said the police had approached late-trading businesses in the Cairns CBD to seek cooperation in deterring juveniles from attending the Cairns CBD late at night.

"It is not uncommon to see school children as young as 12-14 years of age congregating in areas within the CBD on school nights as well as weekends," Supt Sheldon said.

"While the Queensland Police Service has no knowledge of the incident at McDonald's ... we can confirm that McDonald's is merely one of the many businesses that has been approached to seek collaboration in preserving the peaceful and tourist-friendly nature of Cairns and its attractive tropical lifestyle."

Ms Pajor's original post has been shared more than 250 times.