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China's clean plate campaign: Restaurant apologises for weighing customers

BusinessToday.In     August 15, 2020

A Chinese restaurant has apologised to its customers for its controversial policy of asking customers to weigh themselves before entering the restaurant as part of the national campaign against food waste. The beef restaurant in the central city of Changsha has received heavily criticism on social media after it implemented the policy on Friday.

The beef restaurant in the central city of Changsha followed these strict norms in response to a new national campaign against food wastage.

Customers were asked to stand on scales and scan their data into an app that recommended food choices based on their weight and the dishes' calorific value, according to a report by the state-run China News Service.

Two days ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched the "Clean Plate Campaign" to reduce food waste. He urged his countrymen to stop wasting food as the coronavirus pandemic and floods have led to a rise in food prices in the country.

Following Xi's message, the Wuhan Catering Industry Association urged restaurants in the city to limit the number of dishes served to diners. The Association asked restaurants to implement a system where groups must order one dish less than the number of diners.

This system dubbed "N-1", a group of 10 people can only order 9 dishes.

Consequently, the beef restaurant displayed sign boards like "be thrifty and diligent, promote empty plates" and "operation empty plate", with reference to the nationwide anti-waste campaign.

However, the beef restaurant received backlash on the internet. Over 300 million users condemned the restaurant's policy on social platform Weibo.

Later, the restaurant said it was "deeply sorry" for its interpretation of the anti-waste campaign.

In an apology, the restaurant wrote, "Our original intentions were to advocate stopping waste and ordering food in a healthy way. We never forced customers to weigh themselves".

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