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back to article Brighton marathon munchers banned from all-you-can-eat diner

A couple of voracious Brighton blokes have been banned for life from an all-you-can-eat Mongolian barbecue chow-house - after repeated attacks on the restaurant's buffet station threatened to eat the owner out of business. For two years, George Dalmon and Andy Miles, both 26, enthusiastically took up GOBi's offer to "repeat as …

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fair play to 'em

Not really:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invitation_to_treat

"Contract lawyers distinguish this [invitation to treat] from a binding offer, which can be accepted to form a contract..."

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Re: Fair play to 'em

Um.

"A shop owner displaying their goods for sale is generally making an invitation to treat (Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain v Boots Cash Chemists (Southern) Ltd [1953] 1 QB 401). They are not obliged to sell the goods to anyone who is willing to pay for them, even if additional signage such as "special offer" accompanies the display of the goods."

Which was rather my point in as much as they no longer desire their custom or, indeed, have to sell them anything at all in the future.

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Nev
Bronze badge
Pint

AAh The Mongolian BBQ!

A favourite student night out, back-in-the-day!

A couple of flaming Yakbites, barkeep!

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WTF?

Start of a new career?

Man vs food tag team? The media hasn't needed much of an excuse in the past.

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Silver badge

Agree with the restaurateur.

If they indeed never pay a tip and just drink water, they should grow up and put their hands in their pockets. Only thing is - if it was that bad why didn't he bar them years ago ?

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Headmaster

The solution?

Drop the fake "all you can eat" label. Really, it's not helpful anyhow.

Another way of doing it is the way I saw in South America. "Pay for all you eat" effectively. Although your not suppose to return scraps! :D

You weigh the buffet plate and pay by the weight. So if you eat less, you pay less, if you eat more, you pay more. They do weigh the plate too (adds their profit or counts as a service charge). Those chaps would do well in one of those places. ;)

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Happy

Public servants

I was 'taught' by some canny (budget conscious) public servants I lunched with how to fully stuff a Mongolian BBQ bowl.

It seemed to involve tardis-like capacity, worm-holes and some random quantum physics.

I swear they could get 200% more in their (small) bowls than I could ever do.

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I didn't read the title correctly.

I thought the title implied that it was refusing to serve marathon runners because they'd eat too much. Not that it was a few fat people abusing the service.

He put up with them for 2 years and to be honest they sound like terrible customers. If they're eating directly out of the buffet trays rather than sitting at a table they deserved to get kicked out.

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I can sympathize with the manager. A local 'pub' does 'Indian' curry buffet nights near me. There are a couple of utter pigs who ruin the buffet there too, diving in and guzzling all the rice, beef curry, nanns, popadoms and bhajis as they arrive - to the extent that no one else gets a look in for twenty minutes and then rushing back when fresh food arrives setting up conditions for a no holds barred free for all for the rest of us over the scraps they leave. One of these herberts is known to not eat at all for 2 days beforehand so he can stuff himself stupid.

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Gimp

Just change the name

"All-you-can-eat" becomes "All-you-may-eat".

Not that big of a deal.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Trade descriptions violation?

Its called `all you can eat` not `all I want you to eat` so the restaurant owner cant really complain when some people do. Dont advertise it as such if you cant/dont want to deliver.

Tipping isnt compulsory, neither is buying drinks, so he cant moan about that either.

The food in these places is usually cheap, subpar crap prepared in unhygenic conditions anyway (yes, I worked in such a place in my youth, its why I would never eat at one now, the horrors I saw behind the scenes put me off for life) . Buffets are germ factorys anyway.

I wonder if these 2 acted like typical loud, twattish rugby players, disturbing other diners and that the owner just wanted an excuse to be rid of them. Quite why he waited so long is a bit of a mystery though.

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Silver badge
Pint

Re: Trade descriptions violation?

"Quite why he waited so long is a bit of a mystery though."

Because he was a tolerant individual who gave the benefit of the doubt until it became clear that people were taking advantage?

Kudos to him and a '"Fuck off you whining, piss taking gluttonous twats" to the two 'heroes' of the story. I really don't have a clue why people are standing up for them.

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He screwed up

Advertised "all you can eat" and didn't want to provide that service. Simple really.

There was no small print stating drinks are mandatory or service charge will be applied. Just a big advert that someone took advantage of.

No different to any other special offer that turns out not to be to a companies advantage.

Stop whining and stop advertising services you are not willing to provide.

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Coat

All You Can Eat...

Who says that's all you can eat? *I* said that's all you can eat!

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Alert

Sheezus.

One of em looks like a fucking space hopper.

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Anonymous Coward

Be sensible about it....

a restaurant is a little different to most businesses. They can decline whoever they like for what ever reason you like, but if you piss off to many customers then you go out of business.

At my restaurant in my hotel, I refuse entry to people that are not properly dressed, I have removed customers who cant control their kids. I have asked people to leave because of excessively loud and lurid conversation. The key is to keep the bulk of your customers happy and if that means upsetting a minority, then so be it.

In this case, it appears that the customers in question were eating all the food as it is placed in the serving trays leaving little or none for other customers. Its not about how much they paid. He would have worked out his costs and placed a price on his service based on the average. some customers may not eat as much as others so on the whole it balances out. But if he is losing customers because og these pair, then I too would ban them.

The flip side is that a customer after eating at a restaurant is under no obligation to pay the full price of the meal. The customer only has to pay what they believe the meal and dining experience was worth.

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Childcatcher

Re: Be sensible about it....

"a restaurant is a little different to most businesses. They can decline whoever they like for what ever reason you like, but if you piss off to many customers then you go out of business."

Nope, that describes most privately run businesses. You other points are well taken, though.

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Silver badge

Bah!

Reading between the lines here the problem would seem to be yobbishness in the process - like loading up with several times the expected portion size each pass through the "BBQ-to-Order" line. Imagine being behind these people if they grab enough food for their *and* your first course - requiring a wait while the buffet is restocked - then having to wait at the BBQ station while their truckload o' tuck is cooked to order.

I wonder if the real issue here isn't the number of their fellow diners' complaints.

I used to work bars long ago at events where sometimes the first few rounds were free. Talk about piggish behaviour, and don't get me started on the waste the yobs left when they'd drunk as much as they could but only half what they'd demanded at the bar.

I'm with the restaurant owner. These nitwits had by their own admission two years in which to get a clue and seem to have failed to behave with any sort of decency - read the part about the service charge again. Why should they expect any clemency from anyone else when shown the red card? Fuggem.

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Re: Bah!

From the BBS news website, the co-owner said:

"They muck the buffet up for everyone, they push and shuffle people from the barbecue area and it's pretty sad really, because you can eat all you like over five-and-a-half hours - it's not an issue, you don't need to rush."

If they're spoling other diners' meals then fair enough to kick them out.

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Holmes

Tough

They pushed their luck and got banned. Any business has the right to refuse to serve a customer and they do not need to give a reason, it's their business after all.

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A Ha!!

2 pages of comments and nobody mentions Alan Partridge and his big plate.

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FAIL

Lost opportunity

Hard to tell what really went down at the joint really isn't it? Were the two diners eating straight out of the serving bowls? Were they being disruptive? Or were they simply guys with big appetites?

Seems to me that a more elegant solution would be to do one of the following

- limit the number of bowls/plates'-worth of nosh to something large but reasonable - eg 5 dinner plates' worth.

- get some publicity for the joint by challenging the two guys to some sort of eating contest. If they win, they get free stuff, and if they lose, they are banned. Something along those lines. The place gets a spot on the local TV, the boys get bragging rights and the owner gets to push their food at the public.

It's hard to say if the owner waited until they were mid-nosh to ban them, but a quiet word in their ear after their last meal would also have been a simple solution.

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Bronze badge
Windows

Worked for a co. in Camberley once, 20 years ago.

Both managers were indeed a pair of huge porkers.

When I went with them into the 'as much as you can eat' Chinese place in Blackwater, the waiters' faces fell.

Yet, they were reasonable, considering their vastness.

Don't think they went back to the buffet more than a dozen times.........

These were blokes who'd throw me the keys of one of their jags, order me to goto KFC in Camberley high street to buy them a couple of family bucket meals.

Two for each....

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Coat

GOBI...

What are the deserts desserts like?

It's the spiked helmet with the fur trim.

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Meh

I'm actually with the owner on this one. His restaurant, he is SysGod. Not SysAdmin. SysGod. As in way back before my cyber existence in the dialup BBS age. When the SysGod could be a bastard and introduce noise to the line wasting someone's valuable line time, for example.

Service charge? OK it's serve yourself, and probably boil-in-bag stuff, so yeah that's a piss-take. Tap water? I still hurt from having to pay £5 for a mineral water at my middle class cousin's leaving do in a London Bar! Stop taking the piss and we'll start buying. (I do not know the charges for the restaurant in question)

At the end of the day one single restaurant is not as essential to life as your internet connection, gas/water/electricity/sewerage. Learn to cook like I did, it is very rewarding.

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Pint

"Learn to cook like I did, it is very rewarding."

Going to a Mongolian BBQ is probably not a bad place to start. I fondly remembering going to one as a child and learning what stuff tasted nice together the hard way. Basically; it's like cooking... but without the having to cook it bit.

"Service charge? OK it's serve yourself, and probably boil-in-bag stuff."

No: You get a guy standing there over a hot plate cooking it for you, just how you want it, while you watch. That's the whole point of these places. I just wish we had one in town, because they're awesome.

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Mushroom

Used to have a soup and salad buffet in my town. They went out of business about a year ago because the lettuce was always limp, the soup was always lukewarm and the patrons had hollow legs.

Wasn't a bad place when it opened; it kept going downhill until one day when they went titsup.

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Are they for real? Moneygrabbers.....

So if i go in and pay my £12 and eat half a bowl, do I get a refund on what i haven't eaten??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Are they for real? Moneygrabbers.....

i think your missing the point here Kayla, i don't think the problem with these customers was eating too much; these guys were rude and messy and effected other customers which effects peoples dining experience, other customers may never come back again because of these two people pushing and shoving and messing up the place. Its the Managers decision as a business point of view, and I agree with the Manager having to ask them to leave however I think there must have been a better way to approach it rather than calling them pigs, It clearly is not about the money as these two customers have been visiting for 2 years and their behavior needed to be handled. Managers decision is final...

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I actually ate here tonight,

and from what I understand, these two were barred for being douches and had more to do with them being incredibly rude and verbally abusive to staff than pigging out.

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why havent i been this rude to buffet owners?

these men are an inspiration. better bulk up too. muscle burns more calories so its no joke that these people need to eat more.

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There's an all you can eat chinese place here and I always make sure to eat too much. But I do buy drinks and tip. These guys are just fat dicks if they only went to pig out. The owner waited too long to give them the boot.

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Thumb Up

I always get my money's worth from local all-you-can-eat places. But I go with friends who don't order drinks, act politely, don't hoover all the 'good stuff' and deprive others, and - crucially- don't go to any of them regularly.

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Bad pricing or bad behaviour?

If they were banned for being rude, per some comments here, fair enough: I often find myself wishing places were more pro-active about evicting problem guests.

If it's about the amount of food, though, it's wrong. If your business can't genuinely deliver "all you can eat" for £12, put the price up a bit or change the offer (£5 per plate, maybe). "Not paying the optional service charge" just means the manager doesn't understand the word 'optional', and if he relies on ripping people off on the drinks prices to subsidise the food, maybe he should re-think that: knock £1 off the soft drink price and add £1 to the food or whatever.

I hate "unlimited (with lots of limits we lie about)" in broadband, I expect an 'unlimited' buffet to comply to its own terms or be honest about it.

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Boffin

Just in time for the holidays: El Reg article reveals ALL!

Now, myself, I have to stand up twice to cast a shadow...

but what has been revealed here is that overeaters & gluttons exist who are NOT American...!!!

Looks like I'm readin' somethin' I ain't never read befo'.

Commentards who rip on Americans for piggish greed can kiss my go-to-hell.

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