Man sues Hardee’s for skimpy order of Hash Rounds. ‘I just want to be treated fairly.’

A North Carolina man has sued a Hardee’s restaurant in federal court after he said staff humiliated him by placing only two Hash Rounds on his breakfast plate with the rest of his order and then refused to give him more.

Tommy Martin, who is black, told the Observer he felt like he was in a scene from the segregated 1960s. He said the Hardee’s manager who said he couldn’t have the typical number of Hash Rounds is white, as were all the customers that day.

“It’s not a money issue,” the 58-year-old Martin said in a phone interview Wednesday. “I just want to be treated fairly.”

Martin, of Mount Holly, filed a handwritten lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. He seeks a jury trial on his claim that his civil rights were violated by not getting the same number of Hash Rounds customers normally receive with the order.

“The manager came back and said that what you get,” Martin said in the lawsuit about the restaurant on North Main Street in Belmont, N.C. “Got home with tear in mine eye. I have got to do something.”

Hardee’s owner, CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. of Franklin, Tenn., did not respond to a request for comment from The Charlotte Observer on Wednesday. A worker who answered the phone at the Hardee’s told the Observer the manager was not in the restaurant.

A small order of Hash Rounds contains at least a half-dozen “crispy, poppable potato rounds,” according to a photo on the Hardee’s website.

According to the lawsuit, another customer told Martin it was good he looked at the number of Hash Rounds he’d been given before he left the restaurant.

The manager gave him his money back after refusing to give him the correct number of Hash Rounds, Martin said in the lawsuit.

Martin told the Observer he remained “patient” throughout the encounter. He said the Hardee’s cashier was preparing to give him the correct number of Hash Rounds when the manager stepped in and told him no.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.