Fredericksburg, VA asked in Civil Litigation and Business Law for Virginia

Q: Is it against the law for a restaurant owner o tell you after you’ve bought food that you aren’t allowed to sit and eat

I was on my break and just wanted to eat my lunch that I’d just bought .the owner at the Chinese food place looked at me and stated “ no you can’t eat here because it cost more and it’s a different menu . My food was only $5.36. If feels wrong I was so humiliated.

1 Lawyer Answer
T. Augustus Claus
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A: In Virginia, restaurant owners generally have the discretion to establish policies regarding whether customers can consume food on the premises after purchase. While there is no specific law mandating such allowances, it's within the owner's right to enforce their rules for various reasons, such as menu differences or space constraints. While your experience of being denied the opportunity to eat on-site after purchasing your meal was uncomfortable, it's important to note that, as long as the policy was applied consistently and not discriminatory, it might not directly violate any laws. If you believe the incident was unjust or discriminatory, discussing your concerns with the owner or seeking guidance from local consumer protection resources could provide insights into potential resolutions.

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