Saturday, October 22, 2016Overcast 7°C
Eat & Drink

This is what a huge lineup for free Mandarin looks like

Posted by Derek Flack / July 2, 2014

free mandarin buffetYou might have heard that Mandarin was giving away free buffet on Canada Day to mark the restaurant's 35th birthday. The giveaway was only available to Canadian citizens (what?), but that didn't seem to curb the massive lineups that formed over the course of the day. Sure, one expects a queue for free food, but when you get into lawn chair and umbrella territory, that's when it all gets a little bit silly. Some lines reached beyond three hours at their peak, which is a dubious way to spend a holiday. That said, not everyone is as lineup-averse as I am, and what better way to spend some quality family time than milling about in brutally humid weather? Congrats to those who made it inside.

Photo of the lineup for the Finch Ave. Mandarin by David Geguzinskis on Flickr.



Vinnie / July 2, 2014 at 09:42 am
gawd what a bunch of losers.
Pete / July 2, 2014 at 09:43 am
All of these people waiting in line for shitty food and the probably couldn't even get in.
KevinN / July 2, 2014 at 09:45 am
Great way to spend your Canada I guess.
Counterbalance / July 2, 2014 at 09:46 am
Would have been a nicer gesture if Mandarin would have donated all that food to a food bank or given the equivalent money. I guarantee 99% of the people in line could have afforded the meal on a normal basis, everyone just likes free crap. I can't believe anyone in their right mind would line up like this.
Goldielover / July 2, 2014 at 09:49 am
Some did. My daughter and a few of her friends went to the one at Yonge/Eglinton for lunch. They were early, and had an hour or so to wait, but didn't mind as they were busy chatting. They are all post secondary students with little money, so this was a real treat for them, and very much appreciated. Good on the Mandarin for offering this.
bill / July 2, 2014 at 09:52 am
Ford supporters, anything to feel they saved a few bucks.
Mike / July 2, 2014 at 09:52 am
Don't be all jelly b/c you couldn't get free chicken balls.
fuckstickpete / July 2, 2014 at 09:53 am
Wow - what a behemoth pile of greedy lame dog botherers! What a shit way to spend a day. If I had known day old shrimp were such a draw, I would mushroom swipe the lot of em with these nuts!
Jess / July 2, 2014 at 09:59 am
We just spent a pride week talking about diversity, and accepting all for their beliefs whether we agree with them or not. Its OK to disagree with someone but you don't have to yell and scream and try and paint them as an idiot. Respect.
awesome sauce / July 2, 2014 at 10:00 am
I'd line up for their sweet and sour pork balls any day of the week!
Todd Toronto / July 2, 2014 at 10:00 am
Is there any stretch of Toronto drearier than Finch between Dufferin and Keele?
Doug / July 2, 2014 at 10:20 am
I did this years ago when I was in Highschool. It took 2.5 hours and we had a great time in line and gorging on food. Mandarin Buffet is not cheap - even if the food tastes like it.

For those who waited in line they probably couldn't usually afford to take their family to such an "great" place. For kids this place is amazing.

Whats with all the hate?!
fuckstickpete replying to a comment from Jess / July 2, 2014 at 10:21 am

I disagree Jess. These people are clearly idiots...mildly hungry ones maybe, but idiots non the less.
JC / July 2, 2014 at 10:22 am
I find the endless appetite for lining up to save a buck depressing. If this was a food bank, then unfortunate but reasonable, but this seemed like people who don't value their time very much.
Joseph / July 2, 2014 at 10:26 am
None of these hipsters hate on our "cultural" events where one waits an hour and a half for a stick of skewered meat. They wait in line there and leave feeling superior to others because they are life connoisseurs. Yet as cool as they attempt to feel by obtaining superficial knowledge, the ruse is up when they show us here that they are clearly obsessed with how the "less evolved" spend their time. Yes, most could probably afford that meal or work the 2 hours or so they waited and go elsewhere and yes maybe even find a more fitting way to honour our country (like wear a red t-shirt and drink a 24) but they chose this. Let them be. Worse than how anyone spends their day is the guy that walked the entire line and shot a video exposing all of these individuals in detail. That person spent it better? Take a pic...we get it, the line is long. We couldn't possibly get the scope without walking the line? What an low opinion media has of our intelligence and unfortunately the voices above feed and respond to this sensationalism. They are not the majority though, the rest just don't bother.
DirtyT / July 2, 2014 at 10:32 am
I think many of these people ARE idiots. Many of them are standing in line for 3 hours because they feel it's a "deal" and missing out on it would be the same as "losing" the money.
fuckstickpete replying to a comment from Joseph / July 2, 2014 at 10:41 am
I bet you love those miniature flaked pastry sausage rolls.
TJ / July 2, 2014 at 10:41 am
Had a friend who went, lined up for just over 2 hours for lunch. They ran late into the "lunch" period and the staff at their location refused to put out more of certain foods (fish, roast beef, stuff on the grill, etc.) because according to them, lunch was over. So people ate everything else up and the trays of almost everything gradually became empty. The only things being re-filled were fried rice and noodles. Also, he told me he things 80% of the tables did not leave their servers a tip.
Kid Cornish / July 2, 2014 at 11:03 am
So sad. What a bunch of plebs. Everyone looks miserable. What a waste of 3+ hours in the scorching heat. But I guess on a positive note if this was done in the states there would be riots. Yay Canada.
C / July 2, 2014 at 11:28 am
Way to post photos and videos of something that happened in 2009. It's 2014, if your going to post an article at least have up to date content.
gorf / July 2, 2014 at 11:35 am
Well, on the topic of lineups. Here's a great web app that just launched that can help us all avoid them!
Randy / July 2, 2014 at 11:40 am
So were taxed to #$%*, and your going to put down people that may need this free food to save their budget and want to wait for it? I'm sure they don't care what you think.

Why don't you get back in line and camp out for the latest Apple product release, Video Game release, or sneaker. Now that's pathetic.

Wes / July 2, 2014 at 11:44 am
I'm gonna go wait in line at Grand Electric, Electric Mud and Pizza Libretto, some one cool told me they're hip places to line up for food. See and be seen.
Opensource1111 / July 2, 2014 at 12:24 pm
Years ago, I was with a good friend sitting in a good court when I watched a mother with 4 young kids line up at KFC to order 4 toonie Tuesday specials. My immediate reaction was to scoff and comment about how pathetic that was. My friend graciously reminded me that we don't need to put other people down in order to make ourselves feel better. I certainly felt ashamed of myself at that moment, and I saw this mom in a different light - perhaps just someone who was pressed for both time and money trying to take care of her children the best she could.
KevinN replying to a comment from Opensource1111 / July 2, 2014 at 01:11 pm
That's a great story, but has nothing to do with this article.
Jason / July 2, 2014 at 01:18 pm
I wouldn't eat that junk even if it was free. . I bet 99% of the people there think Rob Ford is doing a good job. Had Doug Ford been smart they should of went there with a stack of $20s and handed them out.... Ford Nation would see a 5% spike in the poles.
Earl / July 2, 2014 at 02:02 pm
Well at least it was a private business doing this themselves, we have no say in the matter. Would you rather our Premier hand out more grocery gift cards to people that don't actually need them?
Random / July 2, 2014 at 02:16 pm
Except that photo and video are from 2009. I'm sure the 2014 version would be similar though.
Derin replying to a comment from Joseph / July 2, 2014 at 04:13 pm
Well said Joeseph and Opensource - I understand your perspective.
Seymour Butts / July 2, 2014 at 04:57 pm
For those that think a free meal is more valuable than time itself...
Are you serious? / July 2, 2014 at 05:34 pm
This is pathetic. What an absolute bunch of nobodys
Truth / July 2, 2014 at 05:43 pm
Most of the people in the video look anything but hungry. Most of them actually should have taken the 3hrs they waited to eat BS for free and hit a treadmill.

GTFO. Bleeding hearts. You're going to spend 3hrs of your holiday standing in line, in an ugly part of the city for a free meal - which is actually the WORST food (if you can call it food) you can put into yourselves and that's your best option for a great holiday? Some fun?
w-hat / July 2, 2014 at 07:06 pm
These are the same people that will idle their car for 40 minutes waiting to save 5 cents a litre on gas.

Pushpin and Poetry and all that.
Reg / July 2, 2014 at 07:15 pm
For some yes that is a great way to spend the holiday, who are you to judge.

What's a better option standing in the heat watching some lame parade go by? Going to the island to ingest drugs and alcohol? To each their own.
doi / July 2, 2014 at 09:41 pm
Bloody hell. What a waste of time for crap food.
roger replying to a comment from Opensource1111 / July 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm
You are a loser Opensource. For what that woman payed for the crap at KFC, she could have fed her family for the whole day. But she was too lazy to make a meal.

You and your friend are probably on the dole as well.
Anne replying to a comment from roger / July 2, 2014 at 11:45 pm
Love how you start off your comment by calling someone a loser even though you really know nothing about them. Love the finger pointing. Now the lady is lazy too. What the F&$* do you know about rasing kids and the duties on a mother. Maybe it wasnt laziness maybe she's exhausted, maybe she can't feed her whole family on $$6-$9 dollars a day? Maybe she has fed her family on a very scarce budget all week and this is their one time out this month, what the fuck do you know about what a mother goes through Roger? I could jump all over you and your mother with accusations and presumptions but I'm adult enough to let you respond with the reasons why you do the things you do without finger pointing and calling you names.
Dunce Cap replying to a comment from fuckstickpete / July 3, 2014 at 12:05 am
It's nonetheless... IDIOT!
fuckstickpete replying to a comment from Dunce Cap / July 3, 2014 at 01:36 am
I will take my being a bit dim witted with the occasional spelling errors, over being a condescending smug tosser who corrects peoples spelling hands down pal. We actually have a word to describe people like you in England, we call you C#nts!
Todd replying to a comment from TJ / July 3, 2014 at 09:03 am
Not surprised about the no tip.

I foolishly waited in one of these lines a few years back until the jackals cutting in line and using placeholders ruined it for everyone. These aren't people who eat out regularly, if they did, they'd know that when your meal is discounted you tip heavy. However, they toss a toonie on the table as if they're doing a favour or assume everything's free.
Veruca Salt replying to a comment from fuckstickpete / July 14, 2014 at 05:51 am
Hahaha!! Sorry, but on this count I must agree with FuckStickPete. I don't eat that garbage, but how much could it cost? Standing in line doing sweet piss all so you can keep your $20? Go be productive
Veruca Salt replying to a comment from roger / July 14, 2014 at 05:59 am
Roger ... you're kinda nuts. Not to mention ignorant.
Other Cities: Montreal