La. men claim buffet eatery banned them
Thu Jan 3, 8:33 AM ET
HOUMA, La. - A 265-pound man says a restaurant overcharged him for his trips to the buffet, then banned him and a relative because of how much they consumed during their visits.
Ricky Labit, a 6-foot-3 disabled offshore worker, said he had been a regular at the Manchuria Restaurant, eating there as often as three times a week. But on his most recent visit, he said a waitress gave him and his wife's cousin, Michael Borrelli, a bill for $46.40, roughly double the buffet price for two adults.
"She says, 'Y'all fat, and y'all eat too much,'" Labit said.
Labit and Borrelli said they felt discriminated against because of their size.
"I was stunned, that somebody would say something like that. I ain't that fat, I only weigh 277," Borrelli said.
Accountant Thomas Campo, who spoke for the restaurant because the owner's English is limited, said the men were charged an extra $10 each on Dec. 21 because they made a habit of dining exclusively on the more expensive seafood dishes, including crab legs and frog legs.
"We have a lot of big people there," Campo said. "We don't discriminate."
The argument over the bill grew heated, and police were called. The police report states that the disagreement was settled when the restaurant said the bill was a mistake and, to appease Labit, the meal was complimentary.
Labit said he insisted on paying but was told not to come back. He complained that when seafood on the buffet line runs out, the restaurant only grudgingly cooks more. Campo said the proprietress tries to reduce waste of quality food.