Welwyn Garden City girl ‘too tall’ for child’s meal

A YOUNGSTER was left feeling humiliated and upset when a restaurant refused to serve her a child’s price meal.

Billie-May Thorpe, who is 12 today, was looking forward to a family outing to China East in Hatfield earlier this month.

But the 5ft 4in (1.6 metres) tall child was left disappointed when staff at the Parkhouse Court eatery said she was too tall to eat a child meal, and would need to pay adult price.

Billie-May’s uncle, Patrick Thorpe – head of the party-of-seven’s outing – is furious with the restaurant’s 4ft 7in (1.4 metres) child height restriction.

The 26-year-old, from Hatfield, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “One of the waiters noticed my niece is quite tall and said ‘she’s an adult, full price’ and presented a ludicrous height chart.

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“I assured him she was only a child and offered to prove her age.

“But he said he didn’t care and they charge based on height not age.

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“The manager echoed this ridiculous ‘rule’.”

Mr Thorpe continued: “This humiliated my niece in front of the busy restaurant and at no point was the owner prepared to discuss her age or explain how such a rule is legal, let alone fair.”

With the manager not backing down, the Thorpe family left the restaurant, without eating, and went to Chiquitos at the Galleria instead.

Billie-May, of Howlands, WGC, said: “It’s not fair on me, I can’t help being tall.”

Mum Astrid, 36, added: “As a child who is sensitive about her height anyway, to be told she looked like she would eat adult-sized portions, loudly, in front of a packed restaurant, embarrassed her beyond belief. She was upset to be treated with such disregard for her feelings.”

China East supervisor Bobby Cheung said it was company policy for anyone taller than 1.4 metres to be charged adult price, regardless of age.

He said: “It’s company policy and she was a lot over [the child height restrictions].

“We have a notice at the door on how we charge.”

Mr Thorpe vowed the family would never go to the restaurant again.

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