After an unidentified person in Seoul reportedly placed an order for 40 rolls of kimbap and did not pay for them, a local restaurant witnessed the kindness of its customers.
On Wednesday, South Korean news outlet KBS reported that a man had ordered the kimbap at a local restaurant in Gangdong district but never arrived to pick up the rolls. While placing his order, the man purportedly told the restaurant’s owner that he “will pay for the food later” and left his contact information.
The owner eventually called the phone number provided by the man but found that the number belonged to a different individual. The owner was forced to throw away all 40 rolls of kimbap and suffered a loss equivalent to a day of sales.
She told KBS that she felt excited while preparing the order as it was the first time in a while that someone had placed such a large order.
After news of the restaurant’s loss spread across several South Korean media outlets, customers began showing up to order food and support the business.
According to the owner, one customer placed an order for 200 rolls of kimbap and paid beforehand to ease the owner’s anxiety.
“Since I operate [the restaurant] alone, I can only make 40 rolls of kimbap every hour. If I made 200 rolls of kimbap, I was worried that they might go bad due to the hot weather so I only made 100 instead,” the owner told KBS.
The customer had purportedly ordered a large quantity after learning about the owner’s story while talking with a police officer at the Gangdong police station in Seoul.
“It feels refreshing to see regulars stopping by on purpose, cheering and swearing together,” the owner said.
Kimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and a variety of ingredients such as vegetables and meat. The dish is rolled in “gim” (dried sheets of seaweed) and then sliced into bite-sized pieces.
According to police, the suspect, dubbed the “no-show man” by Korean news media, has been committing similar crimes against several small businesses in Gangdong for over seven years. The authorities are currently searching for his whereabouts.