Worker punched after trio eat and run at restaurant

AN employee at a CBD restaurant was assaulted after confronting three men for failing to pay for a meal.

Three youths did a "dine and dash" at the Toowoomba Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant.

They filled up on the all-you-can-eat buffet and left without paying on Friday night.

A staff member who chased after them to remind them to pay was punched in the nose.

Restaurant owner Lam Lau said it was the first occasion a customer had done a dine and dash.

"It's their responsibility to pay and although it's not a big thing - it probably cost only $20 per head - it's the principle of the matter not the money involved," he said.

Mr Lau said restaurant staff called police instantly and made a complaint following the incident.

He said he was concerned about the attack on his staff member.

"Physically he is fine as he stepped back when they punched him, but I hope he hasn't been affected psychologically."

Mr Lau said sometimes customers truly forgot to pay.

"Our staff member just politely reminded them, but they were rude and attacked him."

He said the vast majority of customers were nice to deal with.

Employee Lars Fishy said staff were shocked by the incident.

"We've had people come in and steal the tip jar before, but we've never had anything like that before," he said.

The incident drew sympathy online with Steven Lamont writing, "Just a couple of scumbags... ripping off hard-working people".

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