A hot pot restaurant in southwest China went bankrupt just two weeks after they started a $25 all-you-can-eat promo.
The buffet-deal left them with almost US$100,000 in debt.
Starting on June 1st, Jiamener, a restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan province, launched a 120 Yuan membership card (around $25 AUD), which allowed customers to eat all they wanted during the whole month.
Reportedly, the business owners thought their providers, like beer merchants, for example, would lower their asking prices due to the increased volumes.
Another thing they thought would happen after the crazy offer, was that customer engagement and loyalty would absolutely skyrocket.
Well, these guys should’ve seen more episodes of “Kitchen Nightmares”.
During the first two weeks of the promotion, the restaurant had more than 500 customers each day, with lines starting as early as 8 AM and often stretching around the corner.
Many customers took advantage of the membership card by staying in the restaurant the whole day and not leaving until midnight.
Others shared their magical card around with family and friends, drastically increasing the volume of meals the business owners had anticipated.
“The uncivilised behaviour of the diners was secondary — the main problem was our poor management,” co-owner Su Jie reportedly said to the Chengdu Economic Daily.
Chengdu has a population of over 10 million people and it’s estimated that residents spent around $3 billion at hot pot restaurants in 2016.
The industry is a thriving one in the region, with almost 20,000 hot pot restaurants across the city.