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Sated diners denied dessert

Clara Guibourg · 24 Jul 2011, 13:25

Published: 24 Jul 2011 13:25 GMT+02:00

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"I don't like guests who waste," said the manager to local newspaper Göteborgs-Posten.

On Tuesday night, when the three friends visited Bamboo Mongolian Barbeque in central Gothenburg, they all filled their plates at the buffet table, with one of them even making a return visit.

The second time around, however, he was too full to polish it all off. When a waiter who came to clear off their table and offer them dessert saw this, he pointed out that dessert was only offered to diners who had finished their meals.

He called the manager, who became very agitated, according to the disgruntled diners.

"The boss flipped out and started swearing. 'Go to hell, you're never welcome here'," said 22 year-old Danilo Riquelme to Göteborgs-Posten.

"We were thrown out in the most unpleasant manner. My friend wasn't even allowed to finish his beer."

Manager Henrik Cui stands by his decision to toss out the full diners.

"Take one plate, take two, and sit here all day if you like - but don't throw away food. I don't like guests who waste, they aren't welcome here," he said to the newspaper.

"If the food wasn't to their liking it's one thing, but he said he was too full. Then how could he still want dessert?"

This isn't the first time the restaurant has chosen to expel diners for leaving plates half-full.

Henrik Cui is now offering his guests from this Tuesday to return to the restaurant and pick up their dessert - but they'll have to eat it by the door.

Story continues below…

Riquelme, however, is no longer interested.

"After that scolding, of course I don't want to return," he said to Göteborgs-Posten.

Clara Guibourg (clarabara@hotmail.com)

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Your comments about this article

14:32 July 24, 2011 by GLO
It'a his business, good for him. Lesson for all, my mom alyays made us sit at the table until we finished everything we took.....
15:04 July 24, 2011 by Vitas
I support Henrik Cui !!! Hero! Brave man!
15:07 July 24, 2011 by DamnImmigrant

Better get a bucket - Monty Python.
15:27 July 24, 2011 by unseen

there is like tens of ways to tell people (customers) how not to do something according to a certain public place rules. obviously, that wasn't the case in the article!! the guy is more bouncer then a restaurant manager!!!
15:28 July 24, 2011 by heavenblues
hats off to brave manager..who done the right thing...they deserve more bad treatment ...!!
15:35 July 24, 2011 by ebsor12
He ia national hero,when there is no food to eat for people in poor countries. this is the right way
15:52 July 24, 2011 by HYBRED

Then maybe the manager should mail that uneaten food to one on those poor countries, huh?
15:53 July 24, 2011 by calebian22
No soup for you!
15:57 July 24, 2011 by HYBRED
lol, the Mongolian grill nazi.
16:07 July 24, 2011 by muscle
i don't know if its true or not but I read in a blog that some guys from my country went to Germany as tourists. They ordered a lot of food and they ate little from it. There was an old lady who saw this and she called police. when the policemen came the tourists said that they paid for the food and the policemen replied "The resources are for everyone in the world not just for you. Your paying will not help return those resources. so WASTING such resources, especially food, is a crime. Eat what you can eat, don't waste". And well the tourists had to pay the fine quietly.

If this is true, then I admire all these people who think about controlling such bad habits.
17:06 July 24, 2011 by Mb 65
This is the reason i do not visit these self service restaurants because i cannot stand to see these pigs stuff themselves silly it makes me feel sick. This manager should be given a medal we need more like him. Swedes are always saying how environmentally friend they are. How can this total waste be that.
17:06 July 24, 2011 by vladpootin
This is all warm and fuzzy - but I bet the rubbish-bin behind Mongo's BBQ is filled with wasted food scrap every night @ closing.
18:26 July 24, 2011 by lovedealer76
this should be a good example to those EU farmers that produce too much food and later dumb them just for the sake of farmers rebate incentive while other part of the world are dying cause of food shotages,what a greedy world we're living in
19:46 July 24, 2011 by Kimster
Having working in a fast food restaurant for a while, I see it every day!! Customers order food and then leave most of it uneaten. At times they dont even open the food wrapping!! That how people here are living. There are places around the world where people are starving to death due to hunger. People here dont know the value the importance of food.

I really appreciate for what the manager have done.

Good work and keep it up.
19:48 July 24, 2011 by rafa1981
I'm with the manager.
19:57 July 24, 2011 by glamelixir
Henrik rules!!!!

And for the first time, i am kind of happy to read the comments in a thread. Hey guys, we are almost agreeing on something!

Let's go celebrate at Mongolian bbq. =)
20:29 July 24, 2011 by faizans80
Although there could be many other ways to teach but I still admire the motive !!!

Food should not be wasted, this is unethical anyhow !!
21:08 July 24, 2011 by Abe L
I really can't understand why people side with the manager. If he's so concerned about wasting food, then he shouldn't run a restaurant with a buffet and instead make sure his guests gets meal portions that are in line with their appetite at the time.

The level of service you get as a guest at a restaurant in Sweden is generally already flat out horrible, applauding such behavior only makes it worse. A customer should always be treated as a king.
21:14 July 24, 2011 by joinamerica
I side with the manager. On the other hand, this should be an individual decision, certainly not something with which any government should become involved. Then it would be tryanny.
21:27 July 24, 2011 by J Jack
good dude!
21:37 July 24, 2011 by lovedealer76
joinamerica,i still think you got a point though i side with the manager,but as a restaurant owner to be more polite i suggest he put up a caution sign on his restaurant norms,just so the customer are aware of what they are gettin into,as i believe every business got their rules,eg,night clubs won't allow you put on steal cap shoe,hooded jacket or sometime even jeans,just to name a few
21:57 July 24, 2011 by swedejane
Ahh...Sweden...were crappy service is universally applauded.
22:00 July 24, 2011 by Scepticion
I agree with Abe. While I totally agree that we eat too much and shouldn't waste food, this half eaten plate isn't the issue of food waste. Look at how much is thrown out in the supply chain (ica, coop etc.) because it's expired.

In fact, the restaurant should be sued. It promises:

Här rekommenderar vi Mongoliska läckerheter

Ät så mycket Du vill Ät så mycket Du orkar

I priset ingår:

Mongolisk soppa och bröd

Mongolisk salladsbuffé

Varmrätter på Mongoliskt vis

Glass med frukt

He clearly violated the advertisement.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the owner wasn't more interested in the bottom line - he wants to make a profit. And if he is such a fanatic, what about the left--over food at the end of the day that should be discarded? Maybe it ends up on the buffet the next day....
23:35 July 24, 2011 by johnny1939
As fat as people are and how much is written about the situation people should be congratulated when they leave something on their plates after they have satisfied their hunger instead of shoving it all into their gullet. If you pay for food and don't eat it that is your decision and not the management business at all. It is not supposed to be traumatic to eat out like it was when ones parents made one eat it all up. BRR!
00:01 July 25, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
At the risk of seeming simplistic:

Doggie bags, anyone?
00:06 July 25, 2011 by johnny1939
hehe right you are Bock but I have never seen them in Sweden & taking food off the table is usually frowned upon...but I shall try it one of these days....will probably be thrown out of the place.
00:35 July 25, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Thrown out for being inventively unconventional...Yes!

Convicted of criminally wasting resources...Never! LOL
01:41 July 25, 2011 by markusd
"Doggie bags, anyone? "

Makes sense at a regular restaurant, especially one in the states that serves large portions, but people at a buffet would probably just load up a doggie bag for the next day or two. The buffet wouldn't stay in business long.
02:12 July 25, 2011 by Savoy
They paid for the food, therefore it was their private property to do with as they pleased. Or do private property rights count for nothing?
02:40 July 25, 2011 by Gamla Hälsingebock
Well, in a country that believes in "Allmansrätten", I guess not. LOL!

03:59 July 25, 2011 by repat_xpat
I love that place. Its the closest thing to the Mongolian BBQ in the U.S.
09:12 July 25, 2011 by RobinHood
A reasonable interpretation of an "eat all you want" buffet is that you take only the amount of food that you intend to eat. Taking more than you intend to eat - and throwing the rest away is insulting to the chef, wasteful to society, vulgar and gluttonous.

This problem could have been avoided by the diners' application of simple good manners and reasonable behavior. People who are rude and unreasonable don't get their icecream. Good job Mr Cui!
10:53 July 25, 2011 by fikatid
In the States, some buffet restaurants have signs saying that there would be a sur-charge on any substantial amount of uneaten food left on the plates. I think it's the way to go. I hate to see those pigs wasting food like that.

Good job and well done on the restaurant owner!
12:56 July 25, 2011 by soultraveler3
Abe L in comment 18 is right though.

It's great that this guy hates wasting food and it's something we should all be more careful with, but why in the world would he choose to run a buffet if he feels like that? I would think buffets would be one of the worst when it comes to throwing away food.

Why not offer normal dishes, with reasonable portion sizes? That way he could hopefully waste less food, make more money on desserts and not have to be rude to customers.
13:28 July 25, 2011 by HYBRED
I find some of these comments truely amazing. The owner was most likely concerned more about a couple of kronor that uneaten food cost that could have been sold to someone else.

I expect to have a owner of a restarant to thank me for my business, not inspect my plate to make sure it is clean, and if it isn't telling me to go to hell and throwing me out. If I buy a some food, I will do with it what I please. The last I checked, I live in a free country. If I want to eat those mashed potato's or squish them between my toe's, it's my business.
01:29 July 26, 2011 by Keith #5083
Well at least they were offered desert, after eating our main course ,during which no-one came to tell us we must order desert b4 19-00, we were told after 19-00 that the kitchen was closed. That after an SeK 265 main course that we had begun at 18-00.
15:58 July 26, 2011 by Jockstrap Jesus
To advertise as a buffet means that the customer is within reasonable rights to take as much as they want. That is the attraction and selling power of a buffet in relation to a set meal restaurant. The manager has a choice - wind his neck in and accept that some cannot eat everything on their plate, or change to a set menu. Personally, if he came out and started swearing at me, a paying customer, for no reason, I would have dropped him.
21:12 July 26, 2011 by its trevlig on the fence.
Well said Jesus!

The notion of a buffet restaurant managers concern over third world starvation, is about as likely a meeting a Gestapo humanitarian in a cynagogue. I would wager that his first interest lies in his greedy little pocket. One day he will rant at the wrong customer and find himself being forcibly dipped into his precious dessert.
08:55 July 27, 2011 by nolikegohome
this is a typical "yes bigger than the stomach syndrome#".

I have seen this in the sallad bar in Pizza Hut and in many a "eat as much as you can" restaurants.

I salut the owner of the restaurant. Bravo u did right.
09:25 July 27, 2011 by Hagrid
Manager's behavior is quite stupid. First of all, rule #1 in marketing is that the customer is always right, even if he's wrong. So even if a some people waste food, if they are content with the restaurant they would come back to eat again. Returning customers is exactly what a successful business needs. But if you scare them away, not only you wouldn't see their money, they would also pass negative word-of-mouth to their friends. Also, it's not like saving food in a restaurant in Sweden, can help starving people in Somalia in any way. And finally, at the end of the day, all the uneaten food gets dumped anyway, so does it really matter who dumps it - the diner or the manager?
14:14 July 27, 2011 by digitalamish
If you don't want any of food wasted (or people get "full"), you don't work in in a buffet restaurant! As simple as that... And you certainly don't pick fights with your customers.

You want to raise kids and think know better, then work in a kindergarten. Send the left-overs to a local pig-farm or Somalia... By the way, in many buffet places in most customer service friendly countries (they tend to be less socialist) you can find "please only take as much as you are going to eat" sign, instead of an angry bouncer watching over your plate...
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