Update, July 15, 2021: Public shaming isn’t always a great idea (looking at you, woman who posted my photo on Nextdoor because I accidentally let my beagle walk on your lawn for a second). But in this case, it worked: as we mentioned in the original article below, Xi’an Famous Foods took to Facebook to shame the intruders into righting their wrong. Shortly after, the eatery updated the Facebook post. It now reads:
“UPDATE: as of 7/13/21, the suspects have provided compensation to our business and at least one have emailed their apology to the CEO.”
While the restaurant’s stakeholders appear to appreciate the discreet apologies, they’re looking for a bit more accountability. “I urge [the trespassers] to make their apologies public ASAP to show their sincerity, as this situation is more than just about the impact on our business, but rather what it says about privilege in society,” the business wrote on Facebook. “When we receive such videos, we will post it instead of this video to provide closure. Until then, this post will remain in order to be a place holder to inform people of this development and other development.” Reveal yourselves, ladies.
Original post, July 14, 2021: This past weekend, one outpost of the renowned New York Chinese restaurant chain Xi’an Famous Foods was broken into by a pair of hungry women who were on a night out on the town. Apparently they were hungry, because they tried to cook themselves a late night snack.
But when I say “broken into,” I mean that term pretty loosely: the electronic lock was off due to a power failure, and that means the door was pretty much open, though it was clear the restaurant was closed, as all the lights were off and nobody was in the building.
It happened approximately at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the New York Post reports, and the entire thing was recorded by security cameras, including the conversation between the two wannabe late-night chefs. Xi’an Famous Foods posted the footage on its Facebook account with commentary from owner Jason Wang:
So, two trespassers came in and started trying to cook dumplings (inexplicably, in cold water). While we can respect that one has cravings for our food late at night, it is still trespassing, and it’s really not OK for you to feel so entitled to be able to waltz into a commercial kitchen (even if the door was unlocked, it’s still closed) and start fumbling with equipment and food. It’s not legal, it’s not safe for our guests or even yourselves. Yes, the food is just too good to pass up, it’s like having a golden ticket to the XFF safe, but, no, don’t.
“Are we trespassing?” one of them asked as she walked into the back. She then pretended to take orders at the register. “Hello! Order number 100!”
“I’m making myself some noodles,” the other announced, and wandered into the kitchen.
As the two rummaged around in the kitchen, one shouted, “I found some balls. What are these?”
She handed off the package to her cohort, who responded, “Oh, dumplings!”
When employees came to open up shop the next day, “we noticed some food scattered around the kitchen (a couple of uncooked dumplings strangely dropped into the cooker, and a bun floating in water). Staff were puzzled, as everything was properly cleaned and closed the night before. Thankfully, we have Nestcams, and we saw what happened...”
The restaurant decided to close for deep cleaning and to inspect product that might have been potentially contaminated by the two strangers.
As for punishment, Xi’an Famous Foods hasn’t chosen to contact police at this point. Wang hopes the two miscreants will turn themselves in. The Facebook post concludes:
So, we hope you enjoyed the bag of dumplings you stole (remember, they don’t cook in cold water). When you are ready to pay for them, as well as for related expenses, you can contact us through www.xianfoods.com/contact. We haven’t filed a police report yet, and wanted to provide you with a chance to fix your momentary lapse in judgement (and sobriety apparently). If you do reach out soon, there’s no hard feelings, and you can continue to enjoy XFF in the future (when we are open, and pay for your food), and this will just be a funny story to tell your friends.