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Toronto restaurant Hong Shing ordered to pay $10,000 after asking black customers to prepay for their meal

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  • Nov 23rd, 2018 2:40 pm
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Toronto restaurant Hong Shing ordered to pay $10,000 after asking black customers to prepay for their meal

will the restaurant pay? The current owner is a huge fan of basketball


https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/ ... customers/

FRED LUM/THE GLOBE AND MAIL
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has ordered a Chinese restaurant in downtown Toronto to pay a black man $10,000 as compensation for a rights violation after it required him and three black companions to prepay for their meals.

In May, 2014, Emile Wickham went to Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant, a popular establishment just east of Toronto’s Chinatown, for a late-night birthday dinner with friends. After the server took their order, he told the group they would need to pay for their meals in full before receiving them, according to testimony Mr. Wickham gave at the April tribunal hearing. They questioned the server, who explained this was restaurant policy, and they obliged.

But Mr. Wickham was unsettled by this. Realizing he and his companions were the only black people in the restaurant, he approached other diners to ask if they’d been required to prepay and all said no.

When the server later returned to the table, Mr. Wickham and his friends questioned him about the policy, and the server admitted they were the only ones who had prepaid. He and another staff member asked Mr. Wickham and his friends if they wanted a refund. The group took their money and left the restaurant.

In her decision, adjudicator Esi Codjoe concluded that restaurant staff had violated section 1 of the province’s human-rights code – which guarantees equal treatment when accessing goods, services and facilities – when they treated Mr. Wickham as “a potential thief in waiting.”

“His mere presence as a Black man in a restaurant was presumed to be sufficient evidence of his presumed propensity to engage in criminal behaviour,” she wrote.

Staff from Hong Shing did not attend the tribunal hearing, nor did they send legal representation. But in November, 2015, six months after Mr. Wickham had filed his human-rights complaint, the restaurant submitted a response to the tribunal through a lawyer. In it, they explained the restaurant “attracts something of a transient crowd” and dine and dashes were common, so they adopted a policy requiring customers whom staff did not recognize as regulars to prepay for their food.

Ms. Codjoe rejected this explanation in her decision, saying there was no evidence such a policy existed, that the other patrons that night were regulars or that Mr. Wickham’s party was advised of this policy when they were at the restaurant.

When reached by phone and e-mail following the decision, staff at Hong Shing said they were unfamiliar with the incident and said ownership had changed since it occurred. They did not respond to any further questions.

A business licence search listed Colin Li as the sole director/officer of the restaurant, which was incorporated in January, 2018. A Toronto Star profile of the restaurant published in 2017 named Mr. Li as the son of Ron and Ann, a couple of immigrants from Guangzhou, China who opened the restaurant in 1997. The story chronicled Mr. Li’s efforts to revitalize his parents’ business. The restaurant sponsors a basketball team and its Instagram account is a mix of snapshots of menu items, such as deep-fried spicy squid, and black basketball players in jerseys emblazoned with the restaurant’s name.


https://www.instagram.com/hongshingto
Last edited by Pochacco on Apr 30th, 2018 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Interesting case. The restaurant got burned before with people dining and dashing:

In it, they explained the restaurant “attracts something of a transient crowd” and dine and dashes were common, so they adopted a policy requiring customers whom staff did not recognize as regulars to prepay for their food.

Was it fair to the complainants to be treated like criminals? No. Is this necessarily racism? Hard to say.

To give you an ex., years ago I went to a rental car agency (ironically, also operated by Asian businessmen). There were these two white guys that matched the definition of homeless. They wanted a car and the Asian owner refused to give them one. Was it racism? I don't know. Definitely a fine line ...
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Good point milli.

I don't know it does seem profiling. It's tough to be operating a business I guess.

I'm going to go 50/50 on this
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This wouldn't have been an issue if they made everyone pre-pay. They should just switch to a fast-casual format like Ali Baba's, Gyugyuya, or Chipotle and eliminate this problem.
Could HAVE, not could OF. What does 'could of' even mean?
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While I understand when you buy a business you take on certain debt and previous responsibilities I don't think the current owner should be liable for this. I guess the new owner can always sue the old to recoup the funds.

These men should have gone after the original owners and received compensation from them.
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The original owners are his parents.
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When reached by phone and e-mail following the decision, staff at Hong Shing said they were unfamiliar with the incident and said ownership had changed since it occurred. They did not respond to any further questions.

A business licence search listed Colin Li as the sole director/officer of the restaurant, which was incorporated in January, 2018. A Toronto Star profile of the restaurant published in 2017 named Mr. Li as the son of Ron and Ann, a couple of immigrants from Guangzhou, China who opened the restaurant in 1997. The story chronicled Mr. Li’s efforts to revitalize his parents’ business. The restaurant sponsors a basketball team and its Instagram account is a mix of snapshots of menu items, such as deep-fried spicy squid, and black basketball players in jerseys emblazoned with the restaurant’s name.
None12 wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 12:06 pm
While I understand when you buy a business you take on certain debt and previous responsibilities I don't think the current owner should be liable for this. I guess the new owner can always sue the old to recoup the funds.

These men should have gone after the original owners and received compensation from them.
The quotes heavily hint to the notion that there is no evidence that ownership changed...

The son incorporated his parents' business earlier this year...and is still currently listed as sole director of the business.
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Kali wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 12:09 pm
The original owners are his parents.
peanutz wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 12:18 pm
The quotes heavily hint to the notion that there is no evidence that ownership changed...

The son incorporated his parents' business earlier this year...and is still currently listed as sole director of the business.
I missed that part. Then yeah I can see that.
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Micelli_Illuminatti wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 11:18 am
Interesting case. The restaurant got burned before with people dining and dashing:





Was it fair to the complainants to be treated like criminals? No. Is this necessarily racism? Hard to say.

To give you an ex., years ago I went to a rental car agency (ironically, also operated by Asian businessmen). There were these two white guys that matched the definition of homeless. They wanted a car and the Asian owner refused to give them one. Was it racism? I don't know. Definitely a fine line ...
Your example has absolutely nothing to do with this particular incident. Other than being black, what was the indication that these guests were any different than other guests in the restaurant? Whereas a car rental agency would only rent to individuals who were able to pay. i'm sure if they 'looked' homeless but had working credit cards, they were fine.
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See this is the problem with today's society.

People don't understand how to run a profitable restaurant AND treat people equally

If it was me I would put extra salt in everyone's food, that way everyone that eats will equally buy more drinks and they can't complain that you are giving them less! :twisted:
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ThinkOutsideTheBox wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 12:32 pm
Your example has absolutely nothing to do with this particular incident. Other than being black, what was the indication that these guests were any different than other guests in the restaurant? Whereas a car rental agency would only rent to individuals who were able to pay. i'm sure if they 'looked' homeless but had working credit cards, they were fine.
To answer your question, no other indication. IIRC, in my anecdotal story, the homeless men could pay and had valid credit cards; the rental company just had misgivings about renting it to them.
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Does this restaurant make good chow mein?
I’m in the area this week so...
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Pochacco wrote:
Apr 30th, 2018 10:43 am
The current owner is a huge fan of basketball
...so?
:confused:

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