The parents of a ‘thoughtful and conscientious’ 10-year-old boy from Southend have vowed to launch a protest campaign against a local café after it emerged that he was offered a PLASTIC SPOON when asking if their menu had any vegetarian options. Dave’s Big Bite in Victoria Road advertises itself as a ‘working man’s paradise,’ but the shocking incident could result in a huge backlash against owner David Fleischmann – the businessman has already confirmed that he has ‘no regrets’ about the incident. 

Michael Jones popped into Dave’s Big Bite with some school friends last Saturday afternoon after a trip to the cinema, and he admitted that he was concerned due to being the only vegetarian in the group. He said: ‘Everyone else in front of me was ordering bacon sandwiches or sausage rolls, and I looked all over the menu for something that could be vegetarian-friendly without success. When I got to the front of the queue, I asked the man serving if he had anything without meat in it, and he just laughed at me and placed a plastic spoon on the counter. I am old enough to know when someone is laughing at me, and I just ran out of the café before he could see me getting upset.’

Michael’s father Adam has vowed to let as many local people know about the ‘disgraceful’ incident as possible, and he added: ‘This is a disgusting way for a vegetarian to be treated. We have raised Michael to never force his eating habits upon anyone else, and this idiot then goes and tells him to eat a plastic spoon! I dread to think what would have happened if someone would have asked for a kosher or halal meal.’

Café owner David Fleischmann is adamant that he hasn’t done anything wrong. He said: ‘It’s time that the catering businesses of Southend took a stand against the constant flood of people who want ‘vegetarian-this’ and ‘gluten-free that’, and there are specialist restaurants in Leigh On Sea for that lot. If establishments for hard-working people like mine start to give in to the vegetarians out there, we’ll have to start accommodating the vegans as well – aren’t they the ones who are vegetarian but also feel the need to tell everyone that they come into contact with? What’s the one where they can’t eat anything from animals? You know, they can’t even have Turkish Delight? It will all end in tears.’