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|Tuesday, September 04, 2001, updated at 10:20(GMT+8)|
Chinese People's "Face" vs. Restaurant Food WasteIn nearly a month's time reporter interviewed more than 50 managers and customers from restaurants of different levels in Beijing. The conclusion is that restaurant customers in China, especially those who want to treat guests or those have the privilege to spend public money in slap-up restaurants, generally have such notions in mind that their face or prestige depends upon how much money they spend on dishes.
Xing Ying, vice general manager of Quanjude, the most famous toasted duck restaurant in Beijing, says that in recent years more and more people go to restaurants for business and social activities, taking "dinner" as a major link in their daily work and this leads to tremendous waste of dishes.
In Dayali toasted duck restaurant, a manager says treating his guests dinners and leaving many leftover dishes is also a kind of investment, otherwise business talks would be difficult.
In Jiutouniao restaurant, a section chief for sci-tech project examination tells reporter that sometimes treating dinner has become a burden, for his friends would be unhappy if he doesn't treat them. As a result, they waste much money and food.
A young manager of an equipment company tells that most important is to form a closer relationship when dining with guests. There will be no business opportunity if you look so mean and what they gained from it turned out much more than they spent.
An accountant of a private company says money spent on eating covers most of company's non-production expenditure.
Fearing of losing face, most people order too many dishes when treating guests and friends and are reluctant to have dishes left packed. This brings wastes of different amounts.
BackgrounderThe garbage disposal station of Xuanwu district has to add one more item to their 24-category garbage collection standard-Mantou (steamed bread), for they collect over 1 ton of Mantou and rice every day.
A seafood restaurant chief says they dump four or five buckets of slops containing leftover dishes.
An official in charge of garbage collection tells that 17 percent of total garbage are leftover dishes, or 1600 tons every day.
This is the same in other cities. Shanghai dumps 1200 tons of leftover dishes every day, and the figure is over 1000 kg for a Quanjude Shanghai branch.
Reporter finds that there are more wastes in higher-level restaurants and those who have the privilege to spend public money waste more. Chinese people order dishes far more than enough to show their "generosity" while foreigners eat all they order. The dishes wasted are more non-staple food.
According to sociologist Chen Xin, every year over 100bn yuan public money is spent on eating and one third is wasted, and millions of tons of grains are wasted yearly.
By PD Online Staff Li Heng
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