A popular restaurant chain in China has issued a public apology for weighing its customers before they entered, and suggesting meals to them based on their weight. The policy was introduced in response to the national ‘Clean Plate Campaign’ against food wastage, BBC reported.
Earlier this month, Chuiyan Fried Beef, located in the southern Chinese city of Changsha, placed two weighing scales at the entrance of their restaurant and encouraged its patrons to first check their weight, and then enter their measurements into an app. Based on the data they fed in, the app would auto-generate menu items that would fit their calorie requirements.
For instance, if a woman weighs 40 kg or less, the app would suggest a hearty meal consisting of their signature beef dish and a fish head. On the other hand, a man weighing 80 kilograms would be told to eat a less calorific meal — such as braised pork belly, a CNN report explained.
The restaurant’s unique policy was slammed by social media users in the days that followed its launch. The owners and management of Chuiyan Fried Beef were accused of weight shaming. Hashtags about the new scheme were viewed more than 300 million times on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, BBC reported.
Responding to the hate it was receiving online, the restaurant said it was “deeply sorry” and clarified that it did not intend to fat shame its customers. It clarified that checking your weight before entering was entirely optional.
“Our original intentions were to advocate stopping waste and ordering food in a healthy way. We never forced customers to weigh themselves,” the statement read.
The ‘Clean Plate Campaign’, which inspired this policy, was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month. Faced with repeated food crises and a slowing down economy, Xi introduced the campaign to combat the issue of wastage of food.