KFC has apologised after “over-zealous” staff removed a lesbian couple from one of its Bath restaurants following complaints they were taking part in “heavy petting”.

The Independent reports Stephen Pope, the father of one of the women, said on Twitter that “a couple complained about them being gay so the manager threw them out” on Thursday.

In a tweet to the company, he said: “Dear @kfc the manager at your Bath, UK, store just kicked my daughter and her g/f out for being #gay. Is this one of your policies?”

A KFC spokesman said they were “very sorry for any offence caused”.

But he added: “While we acknowledge that staff may have been over-zealous in asking the couple to leave, we do not believe that the decision had anything to do with their sexuality.

“Staff acted in response to complaints from customers about inappropriate behaviour, however they have since apologised, in person, to the couple, and offered them vouchers as a form of apology, so we hope to welcome them into the store again soon.”

A company source said the complaints from other customers had been about what “sounds like heavy petting”.

Avon and Somerset Police confirmed they had received a complaint about “abuse directed at [the lesbian couple] in relation to their sexuality” and “a suggestion that they were asked to leave because they were upsetting other customers”.