A hotpot restaurant callled Jiamener in Chengdu, China recently went bankrupt after offering an all-you-can-eat promotion. Customers only need to pay 120 yuan (RM74) for a monthly membership and they can enjoy food anytime.
The only problem is…that isn’t the best way to make money. The promotion, which started on June 1st, ended on June 12th, 2018 along with the whole restaurant’s operation, Harian Metro reported.
Being cheapo Asians, many customers started sharing the membership cards with friends and family, bringing in too many people eating for practically free.
Some patrons even reportedly spent the entire day in the restaurant to continuously enjoy the food, and they had more than 500 patrons daily. They’d start lining at outside by 8am and the queue will stretch up until the corner.
The last customer usually leaves around midnight. The owners only slept around 2 to 3 hours a day and many of the staffs worked over 10 hours.
In just two weeks, the establishment has raked up a 500,000 yuan (RM308,924) debt!
One of the owners named Wang Mengfan told the press that he initially had a plan with this promo.
“We knew we would be losing money [by launching the discount promotion]. We wanted to accumulate more loyal clients through this strategy.
“For instance, if I had lots of customers and many of them have to drink beer, then I have to import lots of beer.
“By relying on a huge sum of money and bargaining with the [beer] merchants, I could lower the price of the imported goods.”
Obviously they didn’t think things through because not only did the plan failed, it also backfired.
However, another owner named Su Jie was humble to admit their mistakes.
“The uncivilised behaviour of the diners was secondary – the main problem was our poor management.”
The two met in college and decided to start this restaurant together in December 2017.
Opening a food joint is easy but maintaining it is difficult. Many establishments tend to focus on giving interesting deals to attract more customers, but let’s learn from Su and Wang’s mistakes by not giving such a promotion.