McDonalds NSW Sydney City

McDonald’s George Street – Disgusting!!! – 375 – 377 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Overall: Disgusting!! Nappy change only.

Good Points: There’s a change table, nappy bins, a sink and soap dispenser.

Bad Points: No ramp access into the restaurant. Dirty, disgusting nappy change table. Awkward getting into the disabled toilet.

This is the filthiest baby change facility seen to date. And the ‘area consultant’ for the restaurant doesn’t care. After seeing this place, we sent in a complaint to Head Office. Far too long later we received a phone call from the ‘area consultant’. He was more interested in trying to justify why the change table was so disgusting, when his priority should have been to apologise and promise it would be fixed asap. Poor form McDonald’s.

The first problem is getting in here in the first place. If you have a pram, you’re going to need help getting up the stairs. There’s no ramp, or mechanical aide of any kind to help you get into the restaurant with a pram. Now the reason given by McDonald’s for not having a ramp is because of the buildings’ Heritage listing. Apparently, this is something McDonald’s is working on and is hoping to have some solution to ‘soon’. 

Now given there is virtually no way anybody with a pram, or anyone in a wheelchair, can even get into this place, it’d be reasonable to expect the disabled bathroom/baby change table to be pretty clean. Right? WRONG!!!!!!! The disabled bathroom/baby change table in this McDonald’s is the most disgusting, filthiest facility we have seen to date. And that is definitely saying something. The toilet looked like it had not been cleaned properly in some time. The room had a terrible stench. The worst part – the baby change table. It was dirty, stained, marked and just covered in filth. There is no way any parent would want to change their child on this table. It’s absolutely disgusting.

Would you like to know the amusing thing about this? The ‘area’ guy, rather than apologise, tried to justify the excrement by saying ‘it’s a very busy restaurant’. We kindly and firmly pointed out to him that as there’s no ramp for people with prams or wheelchairs to even gain access to the restaurant, the bathroom really should be virtually untouched and, therefore, not be in such a feral state. That shut him up, as he stumbled over his feeble attempts to backtrack, finishing off by saying he would visit the store and chat to the manager. 

You know, we don’t care about having a chat with the manager. We don’t care about why the bathroom is this filthy. We want it fixed PERMANENTLY!!!! And how about the old axiom of the customer is always right? Now we all know this isn’t true anyway, but when a complaint is made about the cleanliness of a ‘family restaurant’ and the facilities therein, surely a little respect, humility and action would be in order. What do you think? Are we reaching for the stars here?

So how many other disgusting, filthy, dangerously dirty baby change areas are there in so-called ‘family restaurants’? Are there any you’ve come across which you’ve vowed to never visit again?

Let us know, and we can all work together to make these organisations accountable.

Blacktown NSW

Westpoint Blacktown (Level 4) – 17 Patrick Street, Blacktown NSW 2148

Overall: Has loads of potential but has been well let down.  Nappy change, feed, rest, play

Good Points: Easy to find. Auto slide push-button door. Separate nappy change bench and food prep bench. Disposable change mat liners. Separate sinks for nappy change bench and food prep bench. Nappy bins underneath change bench.  Microwave and bottle warmer. Soap at sinks. Feeding corner with armchair, side table, Play Panel and bench. Adult and child toilets.

Bad Points: No paper towel for drying hands. No curtains or door to feeding/rest area. Toilet paper is too high for little kids. Play Panel is missing a few pieces. Grubby, marked furniture. Chipped and dirty bench in feeding corner. No soap at nappy change bench

This was the first Parent Room we visited on our trip to Westpoint Blacktown. The centre has had alot of work done in recent years, and the Parent Rooms have definitely been improved. Sadly they’re still not exceptional. The website for Westpoint says its Parent Rooms are ‘five star’. They might look like it from the outside, but once inside where you can take a closer look……..they’re more average than anything else. I’d probably be nicer about this review if the centre hadn’t tried to make the rooms sound a whole lot better than they really are. But the hype just doesn’t match up with the real thing.

The best part of this Parent Room is it’s so easy to find. From the moment you arrive on Level 4, you just look for the signs and follow the arrows. Head down the hall between Max Brenner and Mad Mex, and on the left is the auto slide push-button door to the Parent Room. This is probably the most ‘five star’ the room gets. Inside the door the room looks promising, but within a couple of minutes the flaws just leap out!! Either that or I am just getting really really pedantic having seen so many bad rooms and not enough great ones.

This room has loads of potential and was probably great when first refurbed, but it’s just been neglected and treated badly. There’s a nappy change bench, with 2 change bays, bins under the bench, a sink in the  middle, and disposable change mat liners. This is good, but there isn’t any soap here or paper towel to dry your hands.

Opposite the change bench is the food prep area. This is pretty good, with a microwave and bottle warmer. It’s quite rare for a room to have both appliances. The sink is quite big, and there’s soap here plus a hand dryer.  The bench is marked and stained, and the hand dryer has had some lovely homemade etchings done to it.

The feeding corner is pretty crappy. There’s no curtain or door. Just a dirty filthy carpet with an old armchair, broken Play Panel and chipped furniture. It’s not a nice place to take time out with your little ones, and not even having a basic curtain just makes it a really uncomfortable place to be.

The toilets are alright. Don’t know how you’d go getting a double pram in here (thanks Ali :)). There’s a loo for kids and another for adults, with separate toilet paper rolls. The roll for the little loo is a bit out of reach, so kids may need some help. The sink is a little high for kids too, but at least the soap is at a decent kid-friendly height. Hate the hand dryer though. It’s just the right height for kids to stand under without realising it, and getting the life scared out of them when it starts up. Just save some power, Westpoint, and whack in some paper towels instead.

Carlingford NSW

Carlingford Court, Ground Level (near Bakers Delight) – Cnr Pennant Hills Rd & Carlingford Rd

Overall: Pretty good. Clean and quiet. Nappy change, rest, feed.

Good Points: Three private feeding cubicles. Auto-slide push-button door. Adult and child toilets with matching sinks. Paper towel dispensers. No hand dryers. Separate food prep area. Microwave and additional powerpoints. Clean change bench with three change bays. Built-in fold out change tables in each feeding cubicle. Comfy armchair plus sidetable in each feeding cubicle. Quiet and clean.

Bad Points: Tricky corners for prams immediately inside the door. Toilet roll unit for little toilet a bit out or arms reach. Taps on toilet sinks are a bit hard to activate. Shared sink and soap for nappy change bench and food prep area. No nappy bins underneath the main change bench. Full and overflowing nappy bins in the feeding cubicles. Curtains for privacy 

It’s taken forever, but my little one and I finally made it back to Carlingford Court to check out the last parent room. I mean, it’s only our local shopping centre so you’d think we would have knocked it over first. Nope! Instead we’ve been running around Sydney like headless chooks, thinking we’ll always pick up this one on the way home. Too funny. Ah well, it’s done now. I have to say, it’s pretty good too. A couple of flaws, but pretty good.

This Parent Room is down the hallway between Bakers Delight and the health food shop. Just follow the signs, down the hallway, around to the left, and the door is on the right. Hit the big green button to make the door whoosh open. Easy peasy at the start, but just inside the door you have to twist and turn around a pesky narrow entry way and around a corner to get to the main part of the room. Bad design. It’s fine if you’re doing a walk-in, but it’s not easy with a pram in tow.

The toilets are the first thing you see. The door is lockable from the inside (always a good thing!). There’s enough space for a pram. There are two toilets and sinks, one each for both parent and child. I don’t think it’s a very good idea having the toilet paper roll attached to the back of the door. It’s a little out of reach for little ones. The best part of these toilets is there’s no hand-dryer!! Yay!!! I’m so happy about this. There’s a well stocked paper towel dispenser, and no hand dryer. Great hygiene, especially with winter about to hit. Loving it.

Past the toilets are the feeding cubicles and the main part of the room. Each of the three feeding cubicles has a curtain for privacy, a built-in fold out change table, nappy bin, side table and armchair. It’s great! And you can fit a pram inside too (but I’m not sure about double prams. Please tell me if you’ve had a go at getting a double pram in here). This is a big bonus for us mums who want privacy and security. The only real downside to the cubicles – there aren’t any additional powerpoints, and the nappy bins were overflowing very early in the morning. 

The main part of the room is very spacious. It doesn’t have a couch like the Parent Room up on Level 1, but it’s very roomy. There’s a separate change bench and food prep bench. Now this would usually be a good thing except there is only one sink for both areas. Not so good for hygiene. Also there aren’t any nappy bins near or underneath the change bench. The only nappy bins are in the private feeding cubicles. What are you meant to do with soiled nappies if the cubicles are occupied?

The food prep bench has loads of room. The microwave is clean and working. The sink is clean, with soap and paper towel right there too. Really, it’s a nice quiet Parent Room. It’s missing extras like Play Panels, a separate sink for the change bench plus extra nappy bins, but other than that it really is a nice Parent Room. And I’m now very happy to report that all the Parent Rooms at Carlingford Court have now been reviewed. Phew!