China restaurant burned by all-you-can-eat promotion

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Restaurant in China Burned by All-You-Can-Eat Promotion

An all-you-can-eat promotion by a struggling restaurant in southwestern China backfired as customers ate so much food the establishment was forced to close because of excessive debt, CNN reported.

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The Jiamener Hotpot Restaurant in Chengdu, introduced an unlimited menu on June 1 after struggling since opening in December 2017. For a membership of 120 yuan -- approximately $18 -- customers could enjoy a month of unlimited hotpot meals, CNN reported.

Initially, the promotion worked, according to Su Jie, one of the restaurant's owners. Su told Chengdu Economic Daily that more than 500 customers were visiting every day. Diners lined up three hours before the restaurant's 11 a.m. opening, and the owners had taken in more than $15,000 by June 11, CNN reported.

However, debts outweighed the intake, as the restaurant was facing debts exceeding $76,000 and was forced to temporarily close.

"We knew we would end up losing money, but we hoped to build a group of loyal customers through the campaign," Su told CNN, describing the situation as "small-scale chaos."