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Restaurant chain in China apologizes for suggesting menu items based on customer weight

Chinese Restaurant Dining

A chain restaurant in China apologized for weighing customers for food recommendations, CNN reported.

The popular Hunan chain Chuiyan Fried Beef actually asked customers to step on a scale to weigh themselves so that a guide could recommend dishes based on their weight.

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In efforts to build food security and reduce food waste, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized that building “a social environment where waste is shameful and thriftiness is looked up to,” state-run media reported.

A restaurant chain in China publicly apologized for weighing their customers for the purpose of offering them menu recommendations before entering the restaurant.

Chulyan Fried Beef, a popular chain based in Hunan, asked customers to step right up!

To actually step on scales so that they could weigh themselves before even entering inside the restaurant.

Based on their weight, the restaurant recommended a menu of different items.

An example is a women weighing around 88 pounds is recommended a signature beef dish and a fish head, while men weighing above 175 pounds are suggested pork belly, according to CNN.

The restaurant’s practices ignited a quick and apalling backlash from customers for fat-shaming, CNN reported. The restaurant chain apologized in a statement Saturday and said its campaign was designed to “help curb food wastage,” and that it would, after significant backlash, continue to let customers weigh themselves, according to CNN.

China has made food security a national priority. It is setting agricultural development goals that strengthen its food production ability, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has strongly emphasized strides to reduce food waste. He said he is working towards a “social environment where waste is shameful and thriftiness is admired,” according to state-run media. He emphasized that food waste is “shocking and distressing.”

Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the requirement in an instruction.

Calling the issue of food waste shocking and distressing, Xi highlighted the need for maintaining a sense of crisis about food security, especially in the storm of the fallout of the COVID-19 epidemic, despite the fact that China has fortunately had consecutive bumper crop harvests.

Xi stressed enhancing legislation and supervision, taking effective measures, and establishing a long-term system of measures to stop food waste.

It is necessary to further enhance public awareness of the issue, in a need to cultivate thrifty habits and bring about a social environment where waste is shameful and thriftiness is applaudable, Xi said.

Xi has attached great importance to food security and repeatedly called for promoting the social custom of practicing thrift and opposing waste. He has emphasized the need to stop food waste on many times.

In January 2013, he made an instruction on the issue and has since given multiple instructions requiring efforts including forceful institutional constraints, strict compliance with systems, strong supervision and inspection and severe punishment mechanisms to effectively curb various violations of rules, disciplines and laws regarding the consumption using public funds.

He also gave specific requirements for reducing waste in schools and promoting students’ awareness and practices of being thrifty.

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