I love saving a buck where I can, just like anyone else. But one TikTok user has taken saving money on food to a new level, by bringing their own instant ramen noodles to to a hot pot restaurant, reports Daily Dot.
User @iqzhprius was the one who posted the video. In it, you see people enjoying a scalding hot meal of hot pot (which is absolutely delicious, by the way). Then someone sneaks out a brick of instant ramen noodles from beneath the table and tosses it in the boiling broth. The video is captioned “saving money,” and as of this moment, it has 8.2 million views. Commenters had their own opinions about the shenanigans, sparking a conversation about the stunt.
One of the commenters, who appears to have been one of the diners in the video, said, “Yallll this is not an all you can eat place. The noodles are overpriced and they’re the same kind of noodles as what we brought.”
@iqzhprius responded, saying, “Exactly.”
Another commenter said, “U ordered all of this and brought noodles for saving money?” Now, the hot pot restaurant I last went to does charge a lot for a brick of instant noodles. When you go to a restaurant and pay for food, you know you’re paying for more than just the ingredients, right? Like, you’re paying for the restaurant’s rent, utilities, equipment, and more. Of course the noodles will be priced higher than at the grocery store.
But in the scheme of things, you only end up saving a few dollars. The most expensive item, of course, is meat, but even then, these are specialty paper thin slices ready for boiling. You can find this stuff at a typical Asian grocery store, but it isn’t cheap there either. You really wouldn’t shell out a few extra dollars for specialized dining? Do you have hot pot equipment built into your kitchen table?
Then there’s the liability thing: if you get sick from bringing in your own food, the restaurant can get in trouble, since you’re violating health code rules (which do vary based on location).
All of this being said, however, I’m going to chalk up this video to multiple things. I get the feeling the person who posted the TikTok video is young, possibly inexperienced, and also, it’s TikTok, home of internet stunts. Either way, don’t bring your own food to a restaurant.