‘He needs a smaller portion because he eats what’s in front of him’: Man with Down’s syndrome denied child’s meal at carvery
PUBLISHED: 15:38 08 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:33 10 February 2020
A man with Down’s syndrome was refused a child’s portion of food at a restaurant because of his age.
Nigel Styles, 30, from Martham, who is on a strict diet through Slimming World and desperately needs to lose weight, was denied a half-price child's carvery at Castle Carvery in Caister because "he definitely wasn't under 10".
His dad, Keith Styles, said that his son needed a smaller portion because his disability meant he tended to eat whatever was in front of him.
But when the restaurant confirmed that he would have to pay for an adult carvery for his son, Mr Styles thought it unfair that "he'd have to pay double the price for half the amount of food".
Mr Styles said: "I explained to the manageress that my son was special, but her reply was that 'we're all special'.
"At that point Nigel got very upset and to avoid any hassle we decided to get him something different altogether.
"He ate an adult-size burger and chips instead, which upset him even more because he's been doing so well on his diet."
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"We just wanted to go out as a family since we hadn't been out for food in ages because of Nigel's diet, but the evening was ruined at this point."
Mr Styles has vowed never to go back to the carvery - and expressed shock that they refused to budge when other restaurants made similar exceptions frequently.
He said: "It's never been an issue before. This place was actually recommended to us by Slimming World."
According to staff members from the Castle Carvery, their policy is to offer children's meals exclusively for those aged 10 and under, regardless of other circumstances.
Mr Styles has made head office aware of his complaint, but he said nobody had replied.
"People have been saying Nigel's being victimised", he said. "I'm hesitant to take that view but it seems difficult to argue against it."
The carvery has been contacted several times for comment but is yet to respond.