A seafood-buffet restaurant in the capital of Central China’s Hunan province has ended a promotion that featured bikini-clad waitresses, Changsha Evening News reported. Restaurant owner Yuan Xinyu was asked by Changsha industrial and commercial administration on April 15 to end the promotion, after media reported the restaurant’s gimmick, which began on April 13.
The restaurant owner said that bikini-clad waitresses were a way to give customers a feeling of dining on the beach while attracting more business. Only about 100 customers a day have eaten there since its opening on March 18.
"The restaurant wants to give customers a feeling of enjoying dinner on the beach with bikini-clad waitresses to match the style of sunshine, beach, coast and heat," Yuan said.
But the promotion did not go over well. More than 20 of the restaurant’s 50 waitresses quit, and even those who stayed were not happy about the promotion.
"We asked the boss to provide us with sunglasses so that acquaintance would not be able to recognize us," a waitress said. Some customers also did not welcome the change. One mother left with her 16-year-old son before they finished eating because the teen was "absent-minded and stared at the waitresses during dinner", the newspaper reported.
Zhou Xinchao, president of the Hunan Cuisine Industry Association, said of the defunct promotion: "It can’t survive if the market and customers don't accept it."