"I can eat a lot... is that a fault?"

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Chafing dishes in line at a buffet
Credit: Getty Images

There's a now-classic episode of "The Simpsons" where Homer puts the "All You Can Eat" part of the Frying Dutchman's All You Can Eat buffet to its test. He keeps eating until well after closing time — one shocked and terrified waiter says Homer ate "all our shrimp and two plastic lobsters" — and is eventually thrown out before he could get full. 

A man who has been identified only as Mr. Kang can sympathize with Homer's food-related frustration, because he said that he's been banned from the Handadi Seafood BBQ Buffet in Changsha, China after binge-eating his way through their menu. According to the BBC, Mr. Kang was given the official heave-ho after he plowed his way through 3.3 pounds of pigs' feet on one visit to the restaurant and ate over eight pounds of prawns on another. 

"Every time he comes here, I lose a few hundred yuan," the buffet's owner told a local news outlet. "Even when he drinks soy milk, he can drink 20 or 30 bottles. When he eats the pork trotters, he consumes the whole tray of them. And for prawns, usually people use tongs to pick them up, he uses a tray to take them all."

Mr. Kang is a live-streamer, and the buffet owner says that he's officially banned — and so are all other streamers. Kang believes that he's being discriminated against because of his apparently bottomless stomach. "I can eat a lot," he said. "Is that a fault?" (He also added that at least he finished all of those trays of prawns, and didn't waste any of the buffet's food.) 

This isn't the first time a restaurant has been taken down by its own All You Can Eat offer. In 2018, a hotpot restaurant in Chengdu closed less than two weeks after it launched a promotion allowing customers to pay ¥120 ($19) for a month of All You Can Eat meals. According to the South China Morning Post, in just two weeks, the restaurant found itself ¥500,000 ($78,000) in debt. In the days before it closed, more than 500 customers were queuing up to get into the restaurant, and people started staking out their places in line early in the morning. 

"We knew we would be losing money [by launching the All You Can Eat promotion]," one of the owners said. "We wanted to accumulate more loyal clients through this strategy." The owners blamed their "low level" of management expertise for sinking them, but some social media users thought that there was another factor. "Never underestimate our Chinese appetite," one person wrote online. 

Too bad that promo fell apart: we're kind of curious how Mr. Kang would fare against it. And Homer Simpson, too.