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Hot Pot Restaurant Refusing to Serve Men
Published on: 2020-11-24
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A hot pot restaurant in southwestern China’s Sichuan province is facing backlash after refusing to serve two male guests because they were not accompanied by a woman, in violation of the restaurant’s policy aimed at creating a space for a predominantly female clientele.

A man surnamed Liu and his friend waited in line for an hour Saturday to eat at Goddess Dating, a newly opened hot pot restaurant in the provincial capital Chengdu, only to be refused service after their number was called. According to Liu, staff did not inform them that having a woman with them was a requirement for entry when they took a number to wait.

When the two men protested being turned away, restaurant staff called the police. The officers who arrived on the scene negotiated a creative compromise: The restaurant would proffer the services of a female employee to sit with the two men for the duration of their meal, so that they would be in compliance with the “no woman, no service” policy.

The story soon sparked heated discussion on Chinese social media, with many debating whether the restaurant was within its rights to enforce such a bizarre rule, and whether the policy discriminated against male customers. By Monday evening, a related hashtag on microblogging platform Weibo had been viewed over 11 million times.

”I went Saturday during lunchtime but didn’t see any similar issues. I feel that this kind of policy has the right to exist, but the store has a responsibility to make it clear to clients,” one customer said, adding that he hadn’t been aware of the restaurant’s gendered policy when he ate there.

The manager of Goddess Dating argued that, in order to survive in China’s intensely competitive food and beverage industry, every restaurant must find its own niche, and theirs just happens to be women.








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