A businessman in China has taken a somewhat unorthodox approach to battling the country’s ‘moral crisis’ by opening a restaurant where customers can choose whether or not to pay, according to a report by the Telegraph. The business lost around 100,000 yuan in its first month and a total of 250,000 since August.
According to the report, the man named Liu Pengfei, a 51-year-old Fuzhou native, opened the buffet called “Good One” in August in an attempt to remedy the ‘long-lost sense of trust’ in China.
In his business model, he allows customers to choose how much they pay, even if it is nothing at all.
“I don’t run a business, I run a trust,” Liu was quoted as saying in the report. “When I trust them [the customers], they will trust me and they will begin to love others.”
“I hope that when people come here they sense that. Then, when they return to their work and family, they will share this idea,” he added.
Acccording to the repot:
Mr Liu blamed Mao Tse-tung’s brutal decade-long Cultural Revolution for what he argued was a widespread breakdown of ethics. The 1966-76 campaign, which saw China consumed by violence and children denounce their parents as “counter-revolutionaries”, had “destroyed mutual trust between people,” he said.
As we are often reminded, China’s government has recently issued a crackdown on rampant corruption in an attempt to boost public morality.
According to a Reuters report from September, Xi Jinping believes that China is “losing its moral compass,” and is reportedly troubled by his country’s declining morals and rising obsession with money, a problem which he believes religion could remedy.
As for Liu, his business model hasn’t yet had the effect he was likely hoping for.
“There are still many people who don’t pay after the meal,” he said in the report.
As of now, he keeps the restaurant alive through another job working as an interior designer.
Image by Jens Schott Knudsen.