This article originally appeared on VICE UK.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when attending an all-you-can-eat buffet, one must consume beyond one’s means. When you pass through the buffet kingdom doors, normal portion sizes and food pairings no longer apply. Duck pancakes to start. Lasagna for main. Stir fry with a side of curry for second main. Two slices of pizza. Three slices of pizza. Back to the duck? Yes, you will feel like physically removing your stomach with your own bare hands by the time you’re done, but this is all part of the fun.
Diners at an all-you-can eat buffet in China recently honed their unlimited food-cramming skills so well that they managed to put the restaurant out of business. According to ABC News, a Chinese hot pot restaurant in the city of Chengdu has been forced to close two weeks after opening, after customers exploited its generous all-you-can-eat offer.
Patrons at Jiamener restaurant could purchase a membership card for $25 (£19), which entitled them to a month’s worth of unlimited food. However, many who bought the card shared it with friends and family, meaning the restaurant received over 500 customers a day, with queues forming outside each day before it opened.
Jiamener’s owners had anticipated being able to recoup the losses caused by, erm, literally giving their product away for free by attracting repeat customers. Seems this didn’t quite work out.
“The uncivilised behaviour of the diners was secondary—the main problem was our poor management," co-owner Su Jie told the Chengdu Economic Daily.