A notice has been put up at the Kylin Buffet in South Shields, by the managers of the restaurants, which urges its customers to finish their food or face penalty.
The restaurant policy has outraged one customer, who along with her 10-year-old son and 6-year-old niece left a piece of prawn toast, a spring rolls and two onion rings on their plates.
"After we had our starters, we went up for our main course. But a member of staff asked if we weren't going to eat the food on our plates, and said we would have to pay an extra £20 to cover food wastage costs," said 40-year-old Beverley Clark, who accused the management of providing poor customer service.
"I was furious and said we were already paying £18 for three meals, but the staff kept checking if we had eaten the food. In the end, I wrapped it up in a serviette, and put it into my bag when they weren't looking, so it looked like we had eaten it," she added.
"I accept that my staff should not have spoken to the family about the food on their plates more than once," said Sam Fung, Kylin Buffet Manager.
"However, they left a lot of food from the buffet on their plates and we have to charge for wastage of food. We stand by our policies," Fung added.