A personal trainer claims she was told to leave a Costa coffee shop after being asked to “cover-up” for wearing a sports bra.
Having bought her coffee at the counter, Davina Ward was approached by a member of staff who said it was “common sense” for her to put on more clothing.
The 35-year-old, who runs her own personal fitness company, claims she was then asked to leave the store on Sutton High Street in Surrey.
Ms Ward says she spends much of her time in her gym kit because it is her job, adding she had never before been asked to cover up.
“It wasn't the fact they asked me to leave but the woman that served me was the one that asked me to leave,” Ms Ward told ITV London.
“I've never been so angry in my life. I'm absolutely fuming,” Ms Ward told the Sutton Guardian. “Why would they let me sit down and then embarrass me by telling me to leave?”
The barista who asked Ms Ward claims she had not asked her customer to leave the store, only to cover up.
“It's health and safety and common sense. We have plenty of people coming in from the gym, it wasn't because it was a bra and it wasn't because it was a girl”, she told the Daily Mail.
The issue threw up a debate on Twitter. Some commentators said coffee shops had no right to tell customers how to dress, while others said they agreed with the chain store's decision and people should wear shirts after the gym.
Ms Ward asked for a refund on her coffee and went to another shop nearby. She said she had been to ninja class with a friend and did not have other clothes to wear, adding she would stick to her home area of Kensington for coffee from now on.
Kerry Parkin, Costa's head of communications, said: “We would like to apologise for any offense caused to the lady in question and we are looking into this incident with the local store involved.”
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