A Chinese restaurant came under fire for its controversial policy of weighing customers before they enter.
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.
This is in response to the country’s new national campaign against food waste.
President Xi Jinping urged the nation to stop wasting food, as the coronavirus pandemic and serious flooding last month have led to a rise in food prices.
In response, regional catering groups have urged customers to order one dish fewer than the number of diners at a table, an attempt to overturn the ingrained cultural habit of ordering extra food for group meals.
So at this restaurant in the central city of Changsha signs were displayed in the beef restaurant reading “be thrifty and diligent, promote empty plates” and “operation empty plate.”
It has since apologised for its policy after facing backlash on social media.
The restaurant said it was “deeply sorry” for its interpretation of the anti-waste campaign.
“Our original intentions were to advocate stopping waste and ordering food in a healthy way. We never forced customers to weigh themselves,” it said in an apology posted online on Saturday morning.
Chinese state media has also waged war on viral binge-eating videos, known as “mukbang”, while livestreaming platforms have promised to shut down accounts promoting excess eating and food wastage.