Salad man argues the toss with Pizza Hut

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 November, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 November, 2000, 12:00am

Pizza Hut found itself in a pickle when a man who said he won the chain's salad-building competition but was denied the first prize took it to the Small Claims Tribunal yesterday.

Chan Hing-kai, 19, sued Pizza Hut Hong Kong, owned by Jardine Matheson & Co Ltd, for $50,000, the value of the prize up for grabs in the 'Fly High Salad Competition', which offered two return tickets to Hawaii and $10,000 cash.

In a settlement yesterday, Pizza Hut agreed to pay Mr Chan $6,800 and give him four 10 per cent discount cards. Mr Chan said he had only reluctantly accepted the offer, as he had spent many hours trying to win the competition, in which participants had to build the tallest salad.

The 'salad architect' said he had entered the competition about eight times. Each time he spent about $100, as the rules required contestants to order a pizza and a bowl of salad. The month-long competition started on June 5.

Mr Chan said he had confirmed that he won the first prize with the help of a friend, who had checked the records at all other branches just before the deadline to ensure his 'salad mountain' was the highest.

Mr Chan built a salad 84cm high at the chain's Yuen Long branch on July 5, the final day of the competition. But he was told several days later that a contestant in Macau had made a pile 86cm high.

'I was very angry and felt I was cheated. The advertisement stated that it was a competition carried out in Hong Kong . . . The fact is, my salad was the highest in Hong Kong,' he said.

Mr Chan gave a tip to future 'salad architects' - cucumber is the main component in securing the mountain.