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Restaurant fined after it made black customer pay in advance


Emile Wickham and his friends were told to pay for their food before they ate (Picture: Emile Wickham/Twitter)

A restaurant has been fined after it ordered a black customer and his three friends to pay for their meals in advance.

Emile Wickham and his companions were told to prepay when they went for a birthday meal at Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant in Toronto, Canada, in May 2014.

After being told it was restaurant policy, they agreed – before discovering other diners, none of whom were black, had not been given the same treatment, The Globe and Mail reported.

The restaurant has been fined $10,000 (£5,700) after the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal sided with Mr Wickham.

However, it is appealing the decision and said it occurred under previous ownership.

Restaurant fined after it made black patron pay in advance METRO GRAB taken from: https://twitter.com/HongShingTO/status/990983849478840325 Credit: Hong Shing/Twitter

The restaurant released a statement detailing its position (Picture: Hong Shing/Twitter)

In a statement, owner Colin Li said: ‘We are deeply concerned about the situation and the people affected, with an added consideration that the reported claim occurred four years ago when the restaurant was under different maagement.

‘There are a number of sensitivities and considerations about this situation, and for that reason, the tribunal outcome is under appeal by legal representatives.

‘At this time we cannot comment further, beyond emphasising that the current owner and staff are dedicated to be a committed, inclusive and responsible member of the community.

‘It is our hope that the issue can be resolved in a way that is respectful to all involved and we can continue our focus to bring people together over great food.’

In a previous statement in November 2015, it said people eating a meal then leaving without paying had become common.

As a result, it adopted a policy whereby customers not known to be regulars were asked to pay in advance for their food.

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