Restaurant Slammed For Weighing Diners To Determine How Much They Should Eat

Restaurant Slammed For Weighing Diners To Determine How Much They Should Eat

The famous Hunan food chain Chuiyan Fried Beef, in the city of Changsha, received intense criticism for their practice.

Image Source: Getty Images/Alexander Spatari (Representative)

Last month a restaurant chain in Southern China came under fire for its unconventional policies. The famous Hunan food chain Chuiyan Fried Beef, in the city of Changsha, required customers to weigh themselves before being seated. Why would some eatery want to know this personal information, you ask? Well, it is to determine how much food each to provide the customers who are there to dine it. This highly problematic and offensive practice understandably stirred an intense outrage because people just could not fathom the concept of being weighed anywhere but the doctor's office. 


According to CNN, the restaurant asked its customers to "weigh themselves on a set of scales and provide personal information" which would help them "suggest menu items based on" the customer's "physique." That's right, the eatery offers lower-calorie food items to people who weigh more and a menu with a high-calorie count to those who are leaner. Providing an example, the outlet writes, "Women weighing less than 40 kilograms (88 pounds) were recommended the chain's signature beef dish and a fish head, while men weighing more than 80 kilograms (175 pounds) were recommended dishes including braised pork belly." I'm sure your blood is boiling by now, especially after learning the fact the restaurant has assumed that a healthy woman weighs 88 pounds. How did they come to this conclusion? 


No matter how good their food is, I would immediately walk out of a restaurant if someone asked to check my weight. As suspected, Chuiyan Fried Beef was hit with a storm of fat-shaming complaints. Soon they issued an apology for the practice and in doing so explained how this whole thing began in the first place. They tackled the complaints by revealing their mission of curbing food wastage. The restaurant had signs around it which encouraged customers to "clean your plate" and "be thrifty and diligent." Additionally, they clarified that diners were not "required" or forced to step in the scale, according to a representative of the restaurant. 


While they "deeply regretted" being in the midst of the controversy, they assured that diners would still be allowed to weigh themselves at the outlets. "Netizens are welcome to come to the store to experience it and give their comments and suggestions," said the statement. Although some were critical of their "food waste" excuse, it could have been a legitimate reason as a food waste minimization campaign was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping on August 11.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, the economy of many countries has taken a hit and China is not immune to it. As their economy continues to dip, wastage of food was highlighted as a major issue in the nation. In recent years, China has even faced a shortage of food, as record flooding ruined rice crops. Moreover, a swine fever epidemic also led to the culling of pigs, which in turn reduced the available poultry, reports CNN. In 2015, state broadcaster CCTV reported that the Chinese catering industry wastes about 17 to 18 million tons of food every year, which to be honest is heartbreaking. 


Earlier last month, President Xi drew his attention towards the issue and criticized the excessive food consumption, calling it "shocking and distressing," per the state-run news agency Xinhua. Chuiyan Fried Beef is not the only restaurant chain that is putting tighter rules about consumption in place. Apparently a catering association in Wuhan also advocated for customers to order "N-1" dishes, i.e. one less dish than the number of customers dining. Applications that stream popular mukbang videos of people eating huge amounts of food have warned creators that they would be blocked if found promoting excessive consumption

Recommended for you