I don’t know if this is racism or a bad case of playing it too safe, but this is ridiculous! A black man and his entourage were forced to pre-pay for their meal at a Toronto Chinese restaurant.

The Washington Post is reporting this act cost the restaurant more than an extra order of shrimp:

In the early hours of May 3, 2014, Emile Wickham and three of his friends went out to eat in downtown Toronto for Wickham’s birthday. The group chose to celebrate at Hong Shing Chinese Restaurant, a mainstay in the area for nearly two decades, in part because they saw other people eating there at that hour.

The group was seated and ordered food, but a waiter told them they would need to pay upfront for their meals before they could be served. It was the restaurant’s policy, he said.

According to court documents, Wickham said the request “didn’t sit well” with him, even after he and his friends — the only black diners at Hong Shing at the time — had paid in advance. Wickham began going around to other tables in the restaurant and asking whether they, too, had been asked to pay for their meals ahead of time.

No one else had had the same experience.

“That’s really messed up,” one diner told Wickham after he explained why he was asking.

“Upon learning that no other patrons had been asked to prepay for their meals they asked the waiter to explain why they had to pay and no one else had been expected to do so,” court documents said.

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