Upset Chesterfield man turned away from Chinese all you can eat buffet for dining alone
A Chesterfield man was left feeling “embarrassed and humiliated” after he was turned away from a popular Chinese buffet because he was a solo diner.
Lewis Cam from Boythorpe visited Mutiara on West Bars in the evening on Sunday, July 25 hoping to sit down and enjoy a Chinese meal as part of their all you can eat buffet.
However the 26-year-old was told that he could not purchase the all inclusive deal because he was dining alone and the buffet was for a minimum of two people only.
Lewis’s mum Lynda who was “upset and angry” about the embarrassment her son felt claims the rule discriminates against people eating alone.
She added: "Surely that is discrimination, if they turned round and said your race, creed or colour you can't come in they would get done for it, so somebody saying well you're on your own I don't think that is particularly fair.
"In his text to me he said he felt humiliated.
"He felt miserable afterwards."
While the Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from being discriminated against – it is not an offence for restaurants to refuse service to solo diners.
There is no mention of the policy on Mutiara’s website, but the restaurant confirmed that the all inclusive deal is only for a minimum of two people and instead welcomed people dining alone to order off their à la carte menu.
Lynda, who works in customer care, contacted Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins about the issue which she fears will isolate single people.
The 61-year-old added that it takes a lot of courage for her son and other solo diners to sit down in a restaurant by themselves.
"They don't advertise it anywhere.
"I have never even thought of it before until obviously he told me and he was just very, very upset because he felt embarrassed."
Lynda is urging Mutiara to make the policy clear on their website to save others the humiliation of being turned away.
She said a widowed man in the community had also been refused service at another all you can eat restaurant in Chesterfield because he was dining alone.
The Derbyshire Times contacted Mutiara but they declined to comment.