updated 5/8/2006 2:51:22 PM ET 2006-05-08T18:51:22

Wendy Dershem may think twice before leaving that egg roll on her plate at her next Chinese buffet. The Des Moines woman, her boyfriend and her two children were kicked out of a restaurant last week after management accused her of leaving too much food on her plate.

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"They told us we are not welcome there anymore," said Dershem, a repeat customer at the Dragon House buffet. "We waste too much food. But the buffet is all you can eat. And you know kids. They won't always eat everything, and they want something else."

Dershem said she paid her $5.95 fee on Saturday but was abruptly told to leave after eating one plate of food.

Employees said they had been watching her family on previous trips to the restaurant and were fed up with her habits.

"They just take one bite and throw it away," said cashier Lin Huyen. "They take four egg rolls and crab rangoon, take one bite of egg roll and throw the whole plate. That is wasting food."

Dershem said she was shocked by the scolding and complained to management when she paid her check. "It was embarrassing. ... If it's a one-stop buffet, post it," she said.

Dragon House manager Kent Cao said his restaurant offers an all you can eat buffet, not all you can waste. Dershem's family took food, didn't finish it and then piled on the same food again, he said.

"She’s done that too many times," Cao said. "We would welcome her back if she has respect and knows what she wants."

Bob Oberbillig, an adjunct professor at the Drake Legal Clinic, says the patron would have no legal case against exclusion from a business unless there are other factors such as racial discrimination or mental health issues.

"An establishment can exclude people if they smoke or waste food," he said. "It's still a private business."

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