A Mongolian all-you-can-eat buffet in London recently banned two of its customers for eating too much food. The restaurant is called Gobi, and advertises a buffet deal for 20 pounds (roughly $20) with the promise of “The finest meats, seafood and fresh vegetable” stir-fried for you “as many times as you wish”.
However this advertising slogan did not apply to George Dalmon, 26, and Andy Miles, 25, who were banned from Gobi after the manager called the duo “a couple of pigs” according to the British press. Dalmon and Miles were regulars at Gobi, and regularly ate approximately five bowls of stir-fry each every time they dined.
“Basically they just come in and pig out,” said the manager who asked not to be publicly identified. “We have put up with them for two years but I’ve had enough.”
According to the manager, in two years neither of the customers tipped their waiters of purchased anything on the menu aside from water and the buffet. The manager claims that banning these customers is based on the restaurant’s livelihood as a business. “We are not a charity, we’re a business. It’s our restaurant and we can tell people not to come back if we don’t want them to.”
Gobi is not unprecedented in its refusal to serve certain customers. A new website called Badconsumers.com collects complaints from small businesses about customers or other businesses that abuse their services, to provide them with rights and act as a warning to other businesses that may have dealt with the same consumers.
Dalmon and Miles feel they have done nothing wrong and believe that Gobi should not have the authority to kick them out. According to Dalmon, “They’ve only got small bowls and you can’t get enough in there so we always go back for more.”
While it’s hard to confirm or deny the manager’s or the customers’ version of events, it is not unusual to hold back at tipping at a buffet-style restaurant, where the waiter does not perform any direct service to the customers. The larger problem here seems to be the restaurants advertising slogan which tells customers can eat stir-fry “as many times as you wish.” Perhaps gobi would be better off changing it to “stir-fried for you, up to four bowls and no more than that.”
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