AURORA, Colorado – A Los Angeles YouTube contest eater and influencer looking to complete a pizza challenge at an Aurora store says the owner accused her of being a professional competitor trying to cheat their business , gave their unique names and threw them off the property.
On Sunday Raina Huang planned to take on the OMG 28 ”Pizza Challenge at StevO’s Pizza n Ribs. The competition requires the contestant to eat the pizza for $ 100 in one hour with no breaks.
There are no rules or regulations online or within the company that say certain people cannot take part in the challenge.
A surveillance video recorded by the restaurant and partially released to Denver7 shows Huang asking about the Pizza Challenge. Restaurant owner Steve Wieand asks Huang if she is a professional eater when she tries to record herself eating pizza. Huang is heard telling Steve Wiean that she overcame a few food challenges and adding that she records them for YouTube.
The video of Steve Wieand’s confrontation with Huang has not been released.
A separate video that Huang posted online shows her crying and accusing Steve Wieand of giving their explicit names and throwing them off the property.
“I’ve never had such a bad experience in a restaurant,” says Huang in the video. “I was only here to do a pizza challenge. I do not understand.”
Huang travels across the United States tackling food challenges for her online food channel and website. She says she has won 465 food challenges, but she doesn’t see herself as a professional food competitor. She says her YouTube page is her version of Man v. Food.
“I’m not a professional eater because I’m not part of the professional eating league, and I don’t partake of Nathan’s hot dog [Eating Contest]”Said Huang.
Steve Wieand’s daughter, Stephanie Wieand, works in the family restaurant. She says she witnessed the confrontation between her father and Huang and does not condone his behavior.
“I think it could have been handled better,” said Stephanie Wieand. “All I want to say is to apologize to Raina and everyone.”
When asked how her father felt about his actions, she said, “I would say that he definitely feels bad.”
Steve Wieand did not publish a statement to Denver7 or comment on the encounter. His daughter says he feels like Huang is being downplayed and lying about her experience with eating challenges.
Stephanie Wieand says that since Huang posted her video highlighting Steve Wieand’s behavior, people have been calling and hanging up StevO’s Pizza n Ribs. On Yelp, more than 50 people gave the company a one-star rating the day Huang posted their video. Ratings are now deactivated.
Google reviews show a track record of swearwords and threats used by a man in the company, but they don’t directly mention the owner. Stephanie Wieand admits that her father will oppose customers when he thinks it is necessary.
Stephanie Wieand didn’t interfere in the confrontation but says she is now facing a backlash.
“I had to log out of TikTok yesterday because people bullied me and gave me very bad names,” said Stephanie Wieand.
Huang says she wanted to share her story because she was treated unfairly and wanted others to know what happened to her.
“I just want him to have more respect for his customers, for other people in general,” said Huang.
Several restaurant owners have since reached out to ask Huang to take on her culinary challenge.