|Liu Xiaojun, owner of the karst cave-themed restaurant in Guiyang, Guizhou province. (Photo/Guizhou City News)|
A karst cave-themed restaurant opened for trial operation in Guiyang, Guizhou province on Oct. 2. In order to attract customers, the restaurant owner Liu Xiaojun and his two partners came up with a promotion plan: customers could pay however much they wanted for the bill, no matter how many dishes they had ordered.
The partners weren't concerned that the promotion would lead to excessive or malicious consumption. Confident in the inherent goodness of human beings, they presumed that the vast majority of customers would be rational and fair.
However, the result of their plan was not reassuring in that regard. The promotion has indeed attracted many customers, but some customers paid only 10 percent of the cost of the meal, with others daring to leave just 1 RMB for each dish. The restaurant has lost about 100,000 RMB in seven days.
"From customers' feedback, we know our dishes are tasty and of an adequate size. But the payments don't correspond to those evaluations," Liu stated. "They should at least pay enough to cover the cost of the ingredients."
The restaurant's preliminary failure has led to quarrels among the three partners. One returned to his hometown and has refused to come back. The promotion ended one week after it began.
"It's understandable that people like eating food without paying much money. What confuses me is that they haven't returned since the promotion ended," said Liu.
As of 4 p.m. on Oct.9, not a single customer had come to the restaurant.