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

A Chinese food buffet. Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images
  • A chain restaurant in China apologised for weighing customers for food recommendations, CNN reported.
  • The popular Hunan chain Chuiyan Fried Beef asked customers to step on a scale to weigh themselves so that a guide could recommend dishes based on their weight.
  • In efforts to build food security and reduce food waste, Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasised that fostering “a social environment where waste is shameful and thriftiness is applaudable,” state-run media reported.
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A restaurant chain in China publicly apologised for weighing customers to give them menu recommendations before entering the restaurant, CNN reported.

Chulyan Fried Beef, a popular chain based in Hunan, asked customers to step on scales so that they could weigh themselves before entering the restaurant. Based on their weight, the restaurant recommended a menu of different items.

For instance, women weighing around 88 pounds were recommended a signature beef dish and a fish head, while men weighing above 175 pounds were suggested pork belly, according to CNN.

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

China has made food security a national priority, setting agricultural development goals that strengthen its food production ability, according to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies. Chinese President Xi Jinping has strongly emphasised efforts to reduce food waste. He said he strived towards a “social environment where waste is shameful and thriftiness is applaudable,” according to state-run media. He emphasised that food waste is “shocking and distressing.”