A man said that he has been fat shamed by a Chinese restaurant manager who rubbed his belly and asked other customers to take pictures of him with the ‘massive guy’.
Scott Chapman, 23, was at Jumbo Chinese Buffet restaurant when the manager continued to refer to his weight.
He tried to take a selfie with him, but Scott refused so the manager allegedly asked another customer to take the picture instead.
The restaurant has now apologised and offered a free meal to make up for it.
Scott from Hartlepool, County Durham, said: ‘The other customer, who I actually knew, went to walk past me and the manager said “you are too big, You are massive. Nobody can get past you”.’
‘I looked at him and said “really?” and he just walked off. I turned to my mate and said “has he really just referred to me as massive?” I was in shock..
‘My friend said “he definitely just called you massive”. I couldn’t believe it.
‘One of the waitresses came back over and I said to her “is that guy always that rude?” She was also in shock and asked me if I wanted to speak to him. I said no but asked her to tell him we were upset about the way he made a reference to my weight.
‘We were ready to leave but we had started eating by that point and had our drinks so we decided to brush it off thinking he wouldn’t have the thought to say it again.’
Scott said the waitress apologised and spoke to the manager who then came over again and reiterated what he had previously said and even tried to blame the waitresses for seating him in that area.
Scott said: ‘He said “well you are massive. You are a big guy”.
‘I was like “you’re seriously still going on like this?” And my pal was like “yep he is still calling you massive”. He came back over to reiterate what he had already said.
‘By that point I was angry. I couldn’t believe that somebody would think it is okay to make reference to someone’s weight in the middle of a restaurant.
‘He tried to blame the girls. He said “big people do not sit here or people with wheelchairs or prams. They are new and shouldn’t have sat you here.” I could not believe what he was saying. I have never heard anybody insult anyone like that. It was beyond belief.
‘I was talking to some customers who overheard him and they thought it was absolutely amazing that he would say that in a restaurant where there are people.’
Scott, who was visiting the restaurant for the first time, said the man made reference to his weight four or five times during the course of the meal and then came over and rubbed his stomach.
Scott said: ‘I said to him if he did not get off my stomach I would move him off. I would not have assaulted him. I’m not that kind of guy but I couldn’t believe he was insulting me and then rubbing my stomach.
‘He disappeared and I thought he had gone to hang his head in shame but then he came back with a phone. He said to one customer “can you take a photo with massive man?” and the customer said “no way he was not getting involved in it”.
‘Then he asked another customer if he would take his picture with “fat man”. This was a guy I had never met in my life and he was asking him to take our photo.
‘When they said no he tried to take a selfie. He had his finger over the camera button and I said “if you take that photo I will take that phone off you”.
‘I don’t know if he was doing it in a jokey way but my friend and I both said several times that he needed to stop and he had heard us. He kept calling me massive guy – which is like the worst superhero name ever.
‘It was absolutely crushing to be fair. It takes a lot for me to go out as it is. I suffer badly with anxiety and depression anyway.
‘I have my own anxieties regardless of my size and worry about whether people are watching me eat. You have your own thoughts and then somebody adds to it by coming over and calling you names.
‘I tend to stick to the restaurants where I know the staff and find it hard to go to new restaurants as it is. It is a real blow to my confidence.
‘It felt like discrimination. If someone had made a comment about my religion that would be discrimination and this feels the same.
‘It was upsetting. It is not the first time that people have made comments about me. I have had quite a lot of fat shaming but never in a restaurant. I have had people shout ‘fat bastard’ out the car window.
‘I am happy with who I am but I am trying to lose weight and make changes.
‘It has gutted me. I’m a strong person and take a lot of things on the chin but it has got to me. What if it had been said to someone who was suffering severe mental health problems and they went home and did something silly? People do not understand how strong words actually are.’
Scott said he had forgiven the manager and did not want him to get sacked but called for better training.
He said: ‘I do not want him to lose his job because he might have a family to support. He might have just made an absolutely stupid mistake but that doesn’t really excuse it.
‘I would urge the restaurant not to sack him but I would urge them to give him some training and educate him on what’s appropriate.
‘There was a group of us meant to be going there for a meal next week but it is safe to say we are not going now.’
Scott claims he still paid for the meal and spoke to the owner of the restaurant about how unhappy he was but she just shook her head and laughed as if she did not understand.
He also gave it a one-star review on its Facebook page saying he will ‘never ever’ step foot in the place again.
A spokesman for the restaurant said the manager was not available but apologised to Scott.
He said: ‘We are so sorry about that and we would like to meet Mr Chapman to say sorry face to face and offer him a free meal.’