A man who dined at an "all you can eat" buffet claims he was "fat shamed" by the owner of the restaurant, who rubbed his belly and asked for a selfie.

Scott Chapman said the manager of Jumbo Chinese Buffet in Hartlepool, county Durham, labelled him "massive guy" when he visited the restaurant with a friend on Tuesday evening (2 January).

According to the 23-year-old, the restaurant manager first addressed him while seating a couple at the table next to where Chapman and his friend were eating.

"The manager said, 'You are too big, you are massive. Nobody can get past you,'" he was quoted as saying by The Sun.

"My friend said 'he definitely just called you massive.' I couldn't believe it. One of the waitresses came back over and I said to her 'is that guy always that rude?'

"She was also in shock and asked me if I wanted to speak to him. I said no but asked her to tell him we were upset about the way he made a reference to my weight.

"We were ready to leave but we had started eating by that point and had our drinks so we decided to brush it off thinking he wouldn't have the thought to say it again."

Despite Chapman's protestations however, the manager returned to his table soon after and even proceeded to rub his belly, much to the 23-year-old's dismay.

"He said, 'Well you are massive. You are a big guy,'" said Chapman. "I was like 'you're seriously still going on like this? And my pal was like 'yep he is still calling you massive'. He came back over to reiterate what he had already said.

"I could not believe what he was saying. I have never heard anybody insult anyone like that. It was beyond belief.

"I said to him if he did not get off my stomach I would move him off [...] I couldn't believe he was insulting me and then rubbing my stomach."

Chinese buffet Facebook post
Facebook

To make matters even worse, the manager then returned to the table for a third time, this time carrying a phone with him and asking another customer to take a picture of him with Chapman, who stands at 6ft 6in.

However, according to the 23-year-old, his request was turned down as his fellow diner said "he was not getting involved in it".

Undeterred, the manager then attempted to take a selfie with Chapman, but to no avail.

"When they said 'no' he tried to take a selfie. He had his finger over the camera button and I said 'if you take that photo I will take that phone off you.'"

The housing support officer, who paid for the £11.99 dinner and does not want the manager to be sacked, admitted the event was hugely traumatic for him.

"It was absolutely crushing to be fair," he explained. "It takes a lot for me to go out as it is. I suffer badly with anxiety and depression anyway. It has gutted me. I'm a strong person and take a lot of things on the chin but it has got to me."

Chapman, who was visiting the restaurant for the first time, shared his experience via a post on Facebook, in which he vowed to never return to the establishment. The post was shared over 500 times and plenty of users shared their support for the 23-year-old.

A spokesman for the restaurant was quoted as saying: "We are so sorry about that and we would like to meet Mr Chapman to say sorry face to face and offer him a free meal."