A Los Angeles-based competitive eater attempting to complete a pizza-eating challenge was kicked out of a Colorado pizzeria by the owner who she says called her a ‘dirty, lying wh***’ trying to scam his business.
Raina Huang, 27, went to StevO’s Pizza n Ribs in Aurora Sunday to take on the OMG 28” pizza challenge which requires participants to eat the large pizza within an hour with no breaks for a $100 prize.
But surveillance footage obtained by ABC 7 Denver captured restaurant owner Steve Wieand turning Huang away after she asked to record herself eating.
Huang said Wieand called her explicit names and accused her of being a professional food competitor trying to scam his business before kicking her out of his business.
‘He called me a ”dirty, lying wh***” straight to my face,’ Huang says tearfully in a video posted to her Instagram stories. ‘I’ve never had a restaurant experience this bad, I was just here to do a pizza challenge. I don’t understand.’
Surveillance footage captured restaurant owner Steve Wieand (left) turn Huang (pictured) away after she asked to record herself eating
Raina Huang, went to StevO’s Pizza n Ribs in Aurora (pictured) on Sunday to take on the OMG 28” pizza challenge which requires the competitor to eat a large pizza within an hour with no breaks for a $100 prize
‘He called me a dirty, lying wh*** straight to my face,’ Huang says tearfully in a video posted to her Instagram stories. ‘I’ve never had a restaurant experience this bad, I was just here to do a pizza challenge. I don’t understand.’
The pizzeria does not have any rules posted in the restaurant or online stating who specifically can partake in the challenge.
Huang, who weighs just over 130lbs, has amassed 1.7million followers on her TikTok page Rainaiscrazy because of videos of eating challenges where she eats mass amounts of food in impressive times.
The 27-year-old travels across the U.S. tackling food challenges and competitions, and has won hundreds, but is not a certified food competitor.
‘I’m not a professional eater because I’m not part of the professional eating league, and I don’t compete the Nathan’s Hot Dog (Eating Contest)’ Huang told ABC 7 Denver.
Some of Huang’s impressive feats include devouring an 18-inch, four topping pizza and a 40-ounce drink in just 8.03minutes.
Wieand’s daughter, Stephanie Wieand, works at the family restaurant and told Denver7 that she was present for the confrontation between her father and Huang, and disagreed with how her father handled the situation.
‘I think that it could have been handled better,’ Stephanie Wieand said. ‘All I want to say is that I apologize to Raina and to everyone.’
While Wieland himself has not commented on the situation, his daughter said he is regretful.
‘I would say that he definitely feels bad,’ she told Denver7.
Since Huang shared her experience online, Stephanie Wieand said people have called StevO’s Pizza n Ribs and hung up, and more than 50 people gave the pizzeria one-star reviews on Yelp before they were forced to turn reviews off on the app.
The restaurant already had a bad track record on Google, with reviewers accusing an unnamed man at the restaurant of using foul language and threats, Denver7 reported.
Wieand said that her dad is not afraid to stand up to customers when he feels it’s necessary.
Huang has amassed 1.7million followers on her TikTok page Rainaiscrazy because of her stellar eating challenges where she eats mass amounts in impressive times
Wieand’s daughter, Stephanie Wieand, works at the family restaurant and told Denver7 that she saw the confrontation between her father and Huang, and disagreed with how her father handled the situation
Huang said she shared her negative experience at StevO’s because she felt she was treated unfairly and hopes Weiland will not treat others the way he treated her.
‘I just want him to have more respect for his customers, toward other people in general,’ Huang told Denver7.
One silver lining for Huang is that several restaurant owners have since reached out to her offering food challenges.
Huang did not let the incident deter her. On Instagram, Huang posted more food challenges the following day in other Colorado restaurants, including a large plate of curly fries and a large nacho plate.
She thanked her followers for their support following the ordeal and said she is ‘feeling better.’