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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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair usage policy applies.

    But no so fair that we'll tell you in advance what it is.

    1. Psyx
      WTF?

      Re: Fair usage policy applies.

      "Fair usage policy applies.

      But no so fair that we'll tell you in advance what it is."

      They don't have to. It's a business and the business CHOOSES to do business with customers. It's not obliged to do so.

      It's not obliged to put limits on that consent at outset, no more than a customer has to say how much they intend to eat before being allowed in. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and the business should have the same recourse to withdraw their custom as the customer has.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        How about discrimination?

        I disagree Psyx,

        A business has to treat it's clients equally otherwise it is liable to be accused of discrimination.

        The Telcos offer 'unlimited', but then they do have fair use policy etc. By publishing this policy ahead of time, they are basically stating that it applies to all their customers equally and also enable people to make a judgement on whether to join them before purchasing.

        If this all-you-can-eat-restaurant did not have a fair usage policy in place, then they cannot complain that people took advantage of them.

        Now if they have put a policy in place, informed their clients of this new policy and then these two continued to eat 'too much', then the owners would have been in their full rights to refuse them service.

        Because there could have been other better outcomes:

        1) The restaurant implement a fair usage policy, tell their clients, these two heed it and start eating less.

        2) The restaurant implement a fair usage policy, tell their clients, these two decide that they no longer want to eat at this restaurant as the fair usage policy is not to their liking and take their business else where.

        In both of the above examples nobody gets kicked out and nobody is banned for life. People just freely make decisions based on information available to them.

        1. PhilipN Silver badge

          Nope - Psyx was right

          The owners of the restaurant have every right to withdraw custom and deny entry - but not half way through a meal because at that point a bargain has already been made. The bargain does NOT continue every day without qualification from now until kingdom come, only on that day, when the customer sits down and starts noshing.

          The restaurant is private property (1) and the proprietors are offering a limited service with conditions (2) which they are entitled to change for any casual, walk-in customer BEFORE he becomes an actual customer.

          1. Psyx
            Holmes

            Re: Nope - Psyx was right

            "(2) which they are entitled to change for any casual, walk-in customer BEFORE he becomes an actual customer."

            They don't even have to do that. Try walking into a restaurant, getting half way through your meal and then dancing on the tables and you will discover that they are quite entitled to tell you to sod off there and then!

            Additionally, the article or punters never claimed that they were kicked out mid meal, banned mid-meal, or kicked out at all. They were simply banned. If you listen to the gaps *between* the aggrieved party's words, it's entirely possible that they were simply charged as normal and told never to come back, and are just putting their slant on things and letting people keen to side with them jump to the conclusion that they were kicked out half-way through.

            The customer is not always right. Sometimes the customer is a prick and should be told to go away and bother someone else.

            1. kraut

              Re: Nope - Psyx was right

              Indeed. And "between the 5th and 6th helping" is not "half-way through" your meal ;)

              1. BorkedAgain
                Headmaster

                Re: Nope - Psyx was right - @ kraut

                Depends on how many helpings you had in your meal, doesn't it? If you had ten helpings in total that would be exactly half-way through (assuming a steady rate of troughing, and we're not counting the wafer-thin mint as a helping...)

          2. austerusz
            Thumb Down

            Re: Nope - Psyx was right

            Exactly, so under your very own condition the restaurant broke the deal.

            Sure, a business can refuse service to anyone prior to actually starting the service. But said restaurant owner kicked the customers out as they were there and humiliated them in front of everyone ... for the sole "guilt" of following the restaurant's offer.

            The way to act would be that the next time the undesired customer comes in, you greet him and say "sorry, but we reserve the right to choose our clientele and from now on we refuse to serve you". Kicking them out from their table after the fact (and after two years!) is rude and bad for business. A respectable business should have a little more diplomacy even in an adverse situation (or especially in an adverse situation).

            Honestly, I can't see a situation where such behavior from the restaurant manager would be acceptable way of doing business.

            If there's an undesirable customer - act as described above.

            But personally (as a business owner) in the situation described in the article, I would have attempted long before to talk to them and try to help them understand my position and ask them to take it easier on the servings - or ban them calmly beforehand. A regular customer is a sure way of income, having unwritten rules and hinting them to customers is ok, denying service is also ok but the whole behavior issue is not.

            1. sabba
              Facepalm

              Re: Nope - Psyx was right

              The restaurant owner's mistake was in not clearly defining the reason for his dismissing the contract. If it was on the grounds of inappropriate behavior (pushing, rudeness etc) then he is well within his rights. On the other hand, if it is because the customers have eaten more than he believes they should then he could have an issue since the invitation was to 'eat as much as you want'. I guess the final outcome depends on whether or not he took money from them. If he didn't charge them then the argument would be that there was no contract; if he did charge them then i guess they have a legitimate claim for breach of contract. I think they might be on sticky ground trying for slander on the grounds that he called them greedy pigs since it does sound like this could be a legitimate claim.

              Whatever the final outcome - it's not a great advert for his business.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Nope - Psyx was right

                Radio2 interviewed both the guys and the owner yesterday and what's missing from the summary here is that th owner claims it was not because they ate too much but because of their rude behaviour. He said they have people that eat more than these two.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Nope - Psyx was right @austerusz

              > But said restaurant owner kicked the customers out as they were there...

              Stop making shit up.

              Said restaurant told them never to come back. At no point in either this article or the linked to article does it say anything about the restaurant asking them to leave immediately. Since the story would be more of a story had the manager thrown them out during the meal it is a reasonable assumption that this did not happen.

              > The way to act would be that the next time the undesired customer comes in, you greet him and say "sorry, but we reserve the right to choose our clientele and from now on we refuse to serve you".

              No, it would not because: 1. The two people might travel several miles just to go to that restaurant. 2. Denying them entry at that point would be more likely to result in an argument (hungry people are more argumentative). 3. Banning people is a managerial task and the next time they went to the restaurant the manager might not be available.

              > Kicking them out from their table after the fact..

              This never happened.

              > Honestly, I can't see a situation where such behavior from the restaurant manager would be acceptable way of doing business.

              There was nothing wrong with the managers behaviour.

              > But personally (as a business owner) in the situation described in the article, I would have attempted long before to talk to them and try to help them understand...

              I doubt that you are a business owner or that if you are it is anything more than a one man service company.

              Nearly all of the general public are reasonable people but if you deal with them on a daily basis you will come across the minority who quite simply will never see anybodies point of view other than their own. "Talking" to them in the manner you describe will either result in a long drawn out argument in front of other customers or an agreement not to eat so much followed by them doing just that the next time they enter the restaurant.

              > A regular customer is a sure way of income, having unwritten rules and hinting them to customers is ok, denying service is also ok but the whole behavior issue is not.

              Not these two. Their behaviour was resulting in a poorer service for other customers (dishes unavailable due to the pair having emptied them) and probably a net loss due to the quantity they ate. It is no good saying they should have prepared more because on the days the two blokes did not visit the restaurant there would be to much wastage.

            3. Psyx
              Stop

              Re: Nope - Psyx was right

              "But said restaurant owner kicked the customers out as they were there and humiliated them in front of everyone ... for the sole "guilt" of following the restaurant's offer."

              *According to their side of the story*. Which also omits telling us if:

              They were kicked out there and then, or merely banned in future.

              They were acting like rude obnoxious dickheads [which they were according to the restaurant, as per the BBC article].

              They paid.

              They were informed that they were banned at the end of their meal, or mid-way through

              If other customers had complained

              If they were drunk

              et cetera.

              I'm pretty sure I could take the side of anyone, if I only listened to their aggrieved side of the story, too.

              And as a business owner, I wouldn't have bothered having a protracted conversation. Good, loyal customers are good for business. Shit customers are piss-taking wankers who don't care about you or your business. It's pretty clear who the later group were, and one of the joys of running one's own business is being able to decide "Actually, no: I'm not putting up with this crap, just because it's polite and beneficial to them to do so."

        2. Steve Crook

          Re: How about discrimination?

          Who's to say they're not treating their customers equally? These two were pigging out, so unless you're saying they were discriminated against because they're hogs, I don't see there's a case to answer.

          I'd be interested to see how you choose to implement a 'fair use' policy, seems easy to say there should be one, harder to work out practical details I think.

          People do abuse EAMAYL buffets, and I can remember something on usemet that described how to pack as much salad as possible into the small bowls offered by a well known restaurant chain. Hint, use celery sticks lined with lettuce to extend the walls of the bowl....

          All I can say is that perhaps these guys could have been given a verbal warning and then banned when they chose to ignore it.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How about discrimination?

          "A business has to treat it's (sic) clients equally otherwise it is liable to be accused of discrimination."

          I'm sorry, but "making shit up" isn't how the law works, despite occasional appearances to the contrary. Parties to a contract generally have clearcut options to terminate.

        4. AlgernonFlowers4
          FAIL

          Re: How about discrimination?

          If the sign said "Mongolian all you can eat" wouldn't that exclude all non-Mongolians?

        5. Psyx
          Facepalm

          Re: How about discrimination?

          "A business has to treat it's clients equally otherwise it is liable to be accused of discrimination."

          Tosh.

          No it doesn't. It chooses to do business, and it can choose what terms (if any) to do that business.

          Let's take the IT angle:

          Have you had vendors decline trade, or not placed bids? Have you ever got a discount for buying hardware or software in bulk? Have you ever wrangled freebies? Have you ever negotiated a price?

          Of course you have, and all of those are examples of businesses benefiting by NOT treating customers equally. This is not discrimination: This is business.

          "If this all-you-can-eat-restaurant did not have a fair usage policy in place, then they cannot complain that people took advantage of them."

          They aren't: They're simply refusing the custom in future. It's the fat bastards who can't take advantage who are complaining.

          "Now if they have put a policy in place, informed their clients of this new policy and then these two continued to eat 'too much', then the owners would have been in their full rights to refuse them service."

          It's private property. A private business. Frankly the owners are well within their rights to tell any customer to get the hell out at any time. Shops, restaurants, cinemas are not obliged to deal with you, me, or anyone. Obviously they'd like to have our money, but when we as a customer become a liability, they are not contractually required to maintain any form of business relationship with us.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How about discrimination?

            "Shops, restaurants, cinemas are not obliged to deal with you, me, or anyone. Obviously they'd like to have our money, but when we as a customer become a liability, they are not contractually required to maintain any form of business relationship with us."

            And yet for most people on these forums applying the same logic to vendors of entertainment would be unthinkable.

            'Refusing to sell an entertainment product in my country or doing so at a price I deem unfairly high? I'm going to take it anyway! Access to entertainment is part of my human rights or something!'

            Idiots.

      2. E_Nigma
        Stop

        Re: Fair usage policy applies.

        If you're advertising as an "all you can eat" place, yet you deny service to customers who, quote, "eat more than their fair share", that's false advertising. The same applies to the owner's complaint about their not paying the "optional" service charge.

        If their manners were a problem, he should have said so. If two guys, who pay £12 per meal, presumably made of nothing too expensive, can really eat him out of business, as he says, then his business has a serious problem. Either way, he's going about it the wrong way.

        As it is, they should report the business for false advertising and sue the owner for calling them pigs in public.

        1. pete23
          Facepalm

          Re: Fair usage policy applies.

          You, sir*, are living proof of the decline of civilisation.

          * or madam, or wrapping for a conundrum.

        2. Psyx
          FAIL

          Re: Fair usage policy applies.

          "If you're advertising as an "all you can eat" place, yet you deny service to customers who, quote, "eat more than their fair share", that's false advertising. "

          No it's not. At all. It's just the restaurant is using a selection process in order to decide who they want custom with: They're saying *you* can have all you can eat, but *you* can't. Just as you - the customer - select who you want to do business with. People need to get past this notion that businesses are beholden to us and we have 'Rights [TM]' that they don't have.

          ie: Let's say that I work for a company that has a 7-day return policy and a customer abuses it by repeatedly ordering expensive stuff, using it for 5 days and then returning it: Essentially using us as a free rental service. Do we have to keep providing them with the service, or is it 'false advertising' to say "go away and never order anything from us again". I'll give you a clue: We are perfectly entitled to do so and it's not a breach of advertising, either. Because the offer still applies to anyone we CHOOSE to do business with. We are under no contract with the rest of the planet.

          "If their manners were a problem, he should have said so."

          How do you know he didn't: You've only got the word of the two complainants that he didn't. Oh... and look:: The BBC article today cites the restaurant as saying that their manners WERE the problem.

          "As it is, they should report the business for false advertising and sue the owner for calling them pigs in public."

          Reel in that false sense of entitlement. And learn your rights as a customer. And way to go on your ethics of freedom of speeech and freedom of expression as well. MUUUUUMM: He called me a name, so I'm going to sue him for monnnneeeeyyy...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. batfastad
    Joke

    Ts&Cs

    Always read the fair use policy.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Ts&Cs

      The issue is not that the people were denied, that is acceptable. The issue is the advertising of "all you can eat" when it is non-obviously untrue.

      Advertise, "up to three bowls" if that's what you mean.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ts&Cs

        > The issue is the advertising of "all you can eat" when it is non-obviously untrue.

        It is true. On every occasion the pair went to the restaurant they were allowed to eat all they could.

        The restaurant never limited the food.

        The restaurant simply exercised its rights as to who it wanted to do business with.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibly a poor plan to set this up in a student town. Oxford used to have a Mongolian all you can eat joint too but that one got eaten out of business.

    1. Scott Earle
      Thumb Up

      Was that the Mongolian Wok? Great place ...

  4. npupp 1

    fairy snuff

    going to an all you can eat buffet one should play ball and purchase a token, overpriced, watered down coke.

    1. Miek
      Linux

      Re: fairy snuff

      "one should play ball and purchase a token, overpriced, watered down coke." -- It tastes better watered down anyway.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    durham had one too

    not mongolian, chinese, i think it was the discovery that the chicken chow-mein was seagull chow mein that put it out of business....

    1. Steve Renouf
      Trollface

      Re: durham had one too

      Why? What's wrong with seagull? Is it not equally as nutritious?

      1. Rusty 1
        Thumb Up

        Re: durham had one too

        Perhaps seagull is too much like cormorant. Google "how to cook a cormorant"...

    2. ukgnome Silver badge

      Re: durham had one too

      I think you will find it was the undercooked eggs dripping with salmonella that actually finished it off (the first time)

    3. batfastad

      Re: durham had one too

      Hahaha that's right! Was that Lau's Buffet King on North Road nr Milburngate?

      There were a few cases of food poisoning that we figured must have been from that place.

  6. Anonymous Coward 101

    "Mongolian All You Can Eat Buffets", eh?

    My, how the country has changed.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were they Android owners? it seems they take great delight in ignoring T&Cs, tethering and destroying fair use policies.

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

    1. Severen
      Trollface

      Subtle.

      NOT!* :-)

      *Sorry, I watched Wayne's World last weekend. :-/

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Flame

      Go away fanboi

      This article bears no relation whatsoever to the subject of mobile OSs, and your holy war is not welcome here.

    3. ukgnome Silver badge

      No, they were iPhone 5 users looking for an excuse to post pointless drivel on a forum about a buffet. Perhaps you know \ are them.

  8. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Coat

    Brighton marathon munchers?

    Brighton snickers munchers surely?

  9. ISYS
    WTF?

    Service Charge?

    As these restaurants are self service why pay a service charge?

    1. Psyx

      Re: Service Charge?

      Your drinks don't serve themselves, you don't seat yourselves or hang your own coat, et al.

      I wouldn't cough 15%, but I'd certainly pay some gratuity.

      1. mark 63 Silver badge
        FAIL

        Service Charges generasly

        many a time I've been queuing at "the bar" and its a long wait either because they are busy, or theres no-one there at all. I'm staring at the pump for my lager of choice thinking I could have served myself ten times over by now. but i have to wait

        same for seating and coat hanging , i'm quite capable of sorting that out quicker and better myself.

        I'd pay a service charge TO DO IT MYSELF!

        "yes sir for a £2 tip you can avoid the queue and pull your own pints" - brilliant

        That or just put vending machines in.

        1. Tweetiepooh

          Used to be a pub halfway between Aberystwyth and Devil's Bridge

          where you could pay for a pint, get a glass and help self from a selection of barrels. Used to have a nice cider on too. It relied on honesty that you took what you paid for and I think most folk were honest.

        2. Alpha Tony

          @mark 63

          'I'd pay a service charge TO DO IT MYSELF!'

          I'm in the Czech Republic at the moment and some bars here have Pumps built into the tables so you just pour your own beers without even having to get up. You just pay for however many litres you poured when you leave.

          One bar in Brno goes a step further and has flatscreens on all the walls showing a leaderboard of how many litres each table has poured.. That is a bit lethal though, as you go in for a quick pint and end up in a marathon drinking competition with an entire pub full of Czechs!

          1. Test Man
            Happy

            Re: @mark 63

            Alpha Tony - litres LOL. Bloody metric! ;)

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. TechnicalBen Silver badge

              Re: Test Man

              Ever seen a Liter glass? Bigger than a pint :D

          2. Penguin
            Pint

            Re: @mark 63

            [...] flatscreens on all the walls showing a leaderboard of how many litres each table has poured [...]

            Finally, IT and competitive drinking brought together beautifully. This is without a doubt the best idea for IT implementation in a Leisure Retail environment I've heard in months (and you'd be surprised how many I actually hear.)

          3. BorkedAgain
            Thumb Up

            Re: @mark 63

            Alpha,

            I've been there - "The Pub", right? Stonking place. Decent nosh too. The true genius is that the screens occasionally update to show your table's ranking on the national leaderboard. I was there one night with clients when our table got into a race for first with some crowd in Prague... The stagger back to Hotel Continental was fun...

          4. Paul 75

            Re: @mark 63

            Please get me a job at your place...in CZ... :D

        3. sabroni Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: I could have served myself ten times over by now. but i have to wait

          Oh no! You have to wait! It's one thing when there's no one there, but when there's other people "in front of you" at "the bar"! Don't they know who you are?

        4. Fibbles

          Re: Service Charges generasly

          I'm staring at the pump for my lager of choice thinking I could have served myself ten times over by now.

          I'd pay a service charge TO DO IT MYSELF!

          You'd also need a personal licence which will set you back a few hundred quid.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another year

    Just give them another year or so and they will not be able to get through the doors!!! Sorted!

    1. Christoph Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Another year

      Or offer them one more wafer-thin mint

  11. Code Monkey
    Windows

    "All you can eat"

    Did the owner used to be in marketing for a broadband company?

  12. Filippo

    It's in the owner's right to ban people from his restaurant. The other customers will have to decide for themselves whether this affects their own decision to keep going there or not.

    Personally, I think all-you-can-eat places need to take into account that a certain percentage of customers will eat more than what they pay for.

    However, overeating at an all-you-can-eat and at the same time only getting water to drink feels... rude. Especially if you end up actually emptying the buffet. I can't think of any excuse for that. I can image that the place might just have a small buffet, but in that case I'd just go somewhere else rather than annoying the other customers.

    1. Psyx
      Go

      "Personally, I think all-you-can-eat places need to take into account that a certain percentage of customers will eat more than what they pay for."

      I'm sure they do. They always make a loss on me, for instance!

      "However, overeating at an all-you-can-eat and at the same time only getting water to drink feels... rude. Especially if you end up actually emptying the buffet."

      AND not tipping. AND making it a regular haunt, to the point where staff clearly think "Oh, no; not those to tight-ass greedy bastards again."

  13. Richard Jukes

    heh

    Rugby players...

    I know of one chap round here (Rugby player too) who was offered his money back and begged not to come again. He even offered to buy two all you can eat buffet meals just for himself, and they still wouldnt let him continue!

  14. Michael Souris

    Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

    ...should quote their own waist size.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

      44

      43yrs

      19st 11lb

      life expectency: 10 years.

      Number of fucks given: 0

      Next?

      1. Anon the mouse
        Happy

        Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

        28"

        33 yrs

        8st 12lb

        And they'd lose money on me too....

        All you can eat.... the clue is in the offer.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

        "19st 11lb"

        MAN THE HARPOONS!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

          Coward......

          1. Fibbles

            Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

            "Coward....."

            Fair enough. MAN THE HARPOONS!

            You have ruined your body. Your lack of self control is both hilarious and tragic. You're going to die early because you couldn't control your cake intake.

            Seriously, how the fuck do you get to that weight without realising you have a problem? Have you never heard of moderation?

            Incoming flimsy medical excuse in 3... 2... 1...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Boffin

              Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

              Erm, you ARE aware i am 6feet 6 inches tall and and am also a weight lifter???

              No? No, you didn't. YOU just assumed that i was a porker...

              You would be a small snack for me and, more importantly, how i live MY life is NONE of your business.

              Flange badger....

      3. kayla.b
        Facepalm

        Re: Anybody posting a message supporting the porkers...

        These places make money out of me every time i go in as i have 1 plate not very full either... But i still have to pay full price as im over 3ft!!.....

  15. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Somethat dissapointed to discover

    this has nothing to do with Brightons reputation as a gay friendly town.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Advertise the freaks as the main attraction during their all-you-can-eat-athon.

    Maybe even have a mobile-app to alert potential customers of their presence.. (See.. IT angle :) )

    1. Scott Earle
      Thumb Up

      Re: Simple solution

      "Come see Bottomless Pete - Nature's Cruelest Mistake"

      </simpsons>

      1. jonww74
        Happy

        Re: Simple solution

        Ha yes, that Simpsons episode was my first thought when I read this article! :)

  17. Disintegrationnotallowed

    "They spoil everything. We are supposed to be a buffet, but they eat everything out of the bowls before people can get there. We just can’t keep doing this."

    This is the clue, I am going to guess they turn up early before everyone else, eat everything on the buffet and just keep eating whatever is put out. Plus knowing your average rugby player they will be aggressive, rude and be self important.

    The owner has put up with it for two years to be fair, with them making no effort to buy anything else, etc, I suspect it has as much to do with the fact that other people couldnt eat/get to the buffet and were put off by these two, than them actually eating the food.

    1. PsychicMonkey
      Pint

      "Knowing the average rugby player"

      I'm guessing you actually don't know any rugby players. The "average" rugby player is a reasonable man, they may make a mess occasionally but will clear it up before they leave, and pay for any breakages.

      I'm not defending these guys (they sound like twats), but in many years of playing rugby I've come across very few twats amongst my team mates and opposition.

      These guys clearly were not "average" rugby players (I believe it said "ex" rugby player anyway) as they were drinking water FFS!

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: "Knowing the average rugby player"

        What's wrong with water?

        This does sound like Tesco complaining that some people come in and only buy bread and milk (loss leaders), or Ryan Air complaining that you always check-in online and only bring hand luggage.

        If you don't want to to sell something, don't sell it. Don't have a sale and complain that people only bought items on sale.

        1. PsychicMonkey

          Re: "Knowing the average rugby player"

          Nothing wrong with water, just that most rugby players I know would rather be drinking beer with their dinner.

  18. Whitter
    Boffin

    How much does anyone really want?

    I was at an all-you-eat type of place in Vancouver once and they had a cunning method of avoiding over-gluttony: you paid to start eating and you paid for anything left over at the end. While it wouldn't stop the rugby team munching your profits, it did make most folks focus on how much they actually wanted as opposed to how much they could have.

    1. Richard 81

      Re: How much does anyone really want?

      Quite common and often notice is given of this policy on the menu.

    2. Triggerfish

      Re: How much does anyone really want?

      Seen similar in Asia with all you can eat steamboat bbq.

      I quite like the idea, you leave food you have taken on the plate they charge you a bit extra, stops you wasting food.

      They never used to mind a bunch of hungry foreigners turning up and eating away over the course of a couple of hours or so and we used to eat a fair bit, however we also bought plenty of beer to wash it down, and we tipped well.

      That's where the place makes up its costs for doing this in the drinks served, the tip means they are quite happy to see you each time you turn up as well.

      1. Peter Johnstone

        Re: How much does anyone really want?

        I went to an all you can eat Seafood Restaurant in Dalian, China, where the drinks were also included in the price! Didn't go over the score though, being drunk in public is a no no in China.

  19. AbortRetryFail
    Thumb Down

    Whilst it is within the manager's right to refuse entry, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it.

    Publicly humiliating customers mid-meal, whilst no doubt personally satisfying, isn't really a good PR move. Quietly telling them at the end of their meal that they are no longer welcome at the establishment in future would have been a better way of doing it.

    1. Stephen 2

      I agree

      The manager didn't need to do it like that and make an awkward or embarrassing situation.

      Some customers eat a lot, some customers barely eat anything. The price should take that into account and balance itself out as a profit. I can't stand places that have an all-you-can-eat and the staff stare at you because you grabbed a couple extra hot wings or something.

      I agree they have the right to turn a customer away but at least wait until they've finished the meal and just have a quiet word telling them not to come back.

    2. Psyx
      FAIL

      "Publicly humiliating customers mid-meal, whilst no doubt personally satisfying, isn't really a good PR move. Quietly telling them at the end of their meal that they are no longer welcome at the establishment in future would have been a better way of doing it."

      You only have the aggrieved party's word on the situation, remember. The manager might well have acted exactly as you suggest.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Quietly telling them at the end of their meal that they are no longer welcome at the establishment in future would have been a better way of doing it."

      This may not have been an option, if they were large, drunken, infantile rugby types, who were pissing off other customers.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saw their photos in the Telegraph

    They may have been filling up at the BBQ, but they looked like they could afford to miss a few meals. Of course in a few years time the rest of us will have to pick up the bill for their triple bypass operations and their type 2 diabetes.

    1. fuego
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Saw their photos in the Telegraph

      That photo is fantastic.

      I love the fact the photographer got them both to hold their stomachs, as if to say "... but I'm just soooo hungry. I'm waaaasting awaaaaay...."

      http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02357/eat_2357563b.jpg

      1. Psyx
        FAIL

        Re: Saw their photos in the Telegraph

        "Oh, we're so shocked that the manager DARED humiliate us in front of half a dozen other customers that we decided to humiliate ourselves and portray ourselves as fat, greedy, tight-wads in front of the entire NATION."

      2. Steve Renouf
        FAIL

        Re: Saw their photos in the Telegraph

        ... and of course, all the other places in the area now know what they look like, so can bar them from the outset!

        1. ukgnome Silver badge

          Re: Saw their photos in the Telegraph

          Love the fact that the restaurant behind seems to be called GOB

          1. Psyx
            Facepalm

            Re: Saw their photos in the Telegraph

            "Love the fact that the restaurant behind seems to be called GOB"

            Mongolian BBQ, remember...?

            I'm guessing it's called 'Gobi'

  21. The Jase

    "They are in such a hurry to beat everyone to the food they spoil everything"

    This is why... If I had to put up with a pair of twats like them, I would stop going to the buffet too.

    "suddenly the owner came to our table in front of all the customers and went absolutely mental."

    I wonder if that was in response to yet another complaint... And do they have any independant witnesses?

  22. Hans 1 Silver badge
    WTF?

    if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

    Seriously, while I understand that this guy has a business, he should not have an all you can eat policy if he throws people out for eating too much.

    When it sounds too good to be true ... I avoid all you can eat places because the quality of food there sucks biiiig time.

    On a side note, I prefer my food cooked while I am waiting, not heated in a microwave oven - so I avoid restaurants with many different dishes on the menu.

    1. Steve Renouf

      Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

      " I prefer my food cooked while I am waiting"

      Me too!

      ", not heated in a microwave oven - so I avoid restaurants with many different dishes on the menu."

      So I avoid restaurants.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

      It does seem odd that many commentards seem to be supporting the owners promising "All you can eat" and failing to deliver on that promise, yet moan like hell when ISPs do the same.

      I've never seen an "All you can eat" come with a fair usage policy and it seems unfair to apply one once you've taken up their unrestricted offer. I've never availed myself of such an offer but I've always been intrigued as to what the legal and/or contractual position is should I choose to. I imagine the correct time to say no is before saying "okay, start scoffing", before any contract is agreed.

      1. kraut
        Thumb Down

        Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

        If you had a daily unlimited data contract, your ISP would be perfectly in their rights to stop selling them to you in future if they find you always use 10x as much data as the next customer.

        1. crtc
          FAIL

          Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

          True, it's far easier to blame the user when you cannot manage a network for crap when you advertise that you can.

      2. Psyx
        Boffin

        Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

        " it seems unfair to apply one once you've taken up their unrestricted offer.... I imagine the correct time to say no is before saying "okay, start scoffing", before any contract is agreed."

        A restaurant visit is an individual contract, if you want to look at it like that. One does not take out a contract for dozens of meals at a time. Just because I go in a restaurant once, I am not bound by terms and conditions on my next visit, nor obliged to make one.

        The owner walked up to the table and said "You are banned" which is like saying "I don't wish to have any more contracts with you", or your landlord saying at the end of a lease period "I don't want another lease with you"

    3. Psyx
      FAIL

      Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

      "On a side note, I prefer my food cooked while I am waiting, not heated in a microwave oven - so I avoid restaurants with many different dishes on the menu."

      *words failing me*

      You'd probably want to go to a Mongolian BBQ, then...

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

    4. crtc
      FAIL

      Re: if (maxFood !== AllYouCanEat) {throw new LyingBastardException()}

      Yep, it's basically a lie, very much like the so called 'Unlimited' broadband offered by many providers who then cap your speed for using it 'too much', obviously a different use of the word 'unlimited' that many are not familiar with.

  23. Metal Marv
    Joke

    Homer Simpson special

    Yarr, 'tis no man, 'tis a remorseless eating machine!

  24. Tweetiepooh

    Mongolian BBQ restaurants

    Went to one in Ealing Broadway many moons ago.

    Essentially you get a bowl. Go to buffet and select meats (raw), veg, sauces etc. Take to someone with a big hot plate who cooks and serves in clean bowl. You eat and take bowl, refill and so on. So food is cooked fresh and it was very pleasant. Starters, drinks and puds help make up the price to keep profit and I'd guess price is set to balance out heavy eaters from the lighter.

    That said it could be abused and sounds like it was in this case. If their appetites were such as to inconvenience other customers and they didn't buy the extras then there certainly seems to be a case to ban the pair.

  25. Archie Woodnuts

    Fair play to 'em

    Invitation to treat and all that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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..."

      1. Archie Woodnuts

        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.

  26. Nev Silver badge
    Pint

    AAh The Mongolian BBQ!

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

    A couple of flaming Yakbites, barkeep!

  27. Michael 28
    WTF?

    Start of a new career?

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

  28. Jim 59

    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 ?

  29. TechnicalBen Silver badge
    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. ;)

  30. Winkypop Silver badge
    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.

  31. Tim 3

    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.

  32. P.Nutt

    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.

  33. Richard Scratcher
    Gimp

    Just change the name

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

    Not that big of a deal.

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

  35. mickey mouse the fith

    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.

    1. Psyx
      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.

  36. Spider

    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.

  37. Identity
    Coat

    All You Can Eat...

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

  38. pewpie
    Alert

    Sheezus.

    One of em looks like a fucking space hopper.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      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.

  40. Stevie 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.

    1. Bill Fresher

      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.

  41. James Gosling
    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.

  42. RainForestGuppy

    A Ha!!

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

  43. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  44. Andus McCoatover
    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....

  45. Blofeld's Cat
    Coat

    GOBI...

    What are the deserts desserts like?

    It's the spiked helmet with the fur trim.

  46. Suburban Inmate
    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.

    1. Psyx
      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.

  47. kayla.b

    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??

  48. Jimmy John
    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.

  49. GetsugaTensho

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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...

  50. The Alpha Klutz
    Thumb Up

    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.

  51. toadwarrior

    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.

    1. Psyx
      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.

  52. James 100

    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.

  53. jukejoint
    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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