All-you-can-eat hot-pot special puts Chinese restaurant out of business

Photo: China Photos (Getty Images)

A hot-pot restaurant in Chengdu, in China’s Sechuan province, didn’t do the math on its all-you-can-eat deal: For $19 a month, it offered customers unlimited hot pots. Two weeks later, the restaurant went out of business, according to South China Morning Post. The pots, they were too hot.

Six-month-old Jiamener restaurant closed its doors last week after announcing the promotion on June 1. According to reports, the owners knew the all-you-can-eat discounts would lose them money, but they’d hoped customer loyalty and increased traffic would offset the loses. Unfortunately, after racking up nearly $80,000 in debt, the establishment had to shut its doors.


South China Morning Post notes Jiamener was doling out meals to nearly 500 customers a day, with diners lining up around 8 a.m. and a steady rush continuing through closing at midnight. Owners say they slept just a couple hours a night, and most staff worked at least 10-hour shifts.

Some diners, it seems, were out to exploit the generous promotion, but in the end, even owner Su Jie admits it wasn’t the customers’ fault: “The uncivilized behavior of the diners was secondary—the main problem was our poor management.”

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Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.