A Chinese restaurant in Hunan Province, China has issued an online apology for encouraging customers to weigh themselves to determine how much food they should order.
The controversy: Chuiyan Fried Beef, an outlet in Changsha, Hunan Province, attracted attention online after it removed weighing scales outside its restaurant on August 13, according to South China Morning Post.
- The weighing scales were accompanied by a note suggesting the number of food orders customers should place depend on their weight.
- In its example, women who weigh under 40 kilograms (88 pounds) are advised to order two dishes while men weighing 70-80 kilograms (154-176 pounds) could order up to three.
- Chuiyan Fried Beef introduced the new policy after Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a national campaign to tackle the “shocking and distressing” level of food waste in China, BBC reported.
- The outlet’s post attracted over 120 million views on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. Some users reacted negatively to how the business responded to Xi’s campaign on food waste management.
- “Our intention was to advocate not wasting food and for people to order in a healthy way,” the restaurant said in its apology letter posted on Weibo on August 15. “We never forced customers to weigh themselves,” it said, adding that they are deeply sorry for upsetting other people.
Other details: Tan Yan, president of the Chuiyan Fried Beef chain, defended the decision following the controversy and said customers volunteered for the weighing.
- “Many female customers like to weigh themselves, and their body weight was sent to their phones, not shown on the scales, so it did not breach their privacy,” she told The Beijing News over the weekend.
- The restaurant will continue with its weigh-before-you-order campaign, Tan said.
- Additionally, they are looking to improve its approach such as detailing a dish’s nutritional values.
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