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Hotel apologizes for lobster buffet 'miscommunication'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Splendor Hotel in Taichung offered an apology yesterday for miscommunication with dissatisfied customers who had not gotten their share of all-you-can-eat lobsters at the hotel's restaurant.

The Splendor Hotel's restaurant started to provide the all-you-can-eat lobster buffet in February. The buffet proved to be so popular that reservations were soon fully booked until the end of March.

Five customers recently ate at the restaurant but allegedly had only one lobster before the delicacy ran out, despite the fact that they paid the full price, a total of NT$7,900, for their meals. The unsatisfied customers were then involved in a quarrel with the restaurant's staff. The hotel called security to step in to resolve the conflict.

According to the restaurant, all the lobsters are steamed on scene, and as such, a batch of lobsters is provided every 20 to 30 minutes. When the customers went to get more lobsters, none were available at that time. The hotel admitted that it appeared that the restaurant's staff failed to explain properly, leading the customers to believe no more lobsters would be provided.

The restaurant's staff later decided to provide a refund to the five dissatisfied customers. However, as the restaurant had reported the incident to the police, the customers were later accused of dining without payment.

The restaurant later accepted responsibility for the incident and said it was a misunderstanding, making a public apology to the customers. Those responsible for the misunderstanding will be punished accordingly, the hotel said.

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