A 4-star hotel in Switzerland caught the attention of Chinese media after it placed signs on its restaurant tables seemingly targeting guests from China, who were accused of piling up food at the buffet and leaving it uneaten.
The restaurant is located in Hotel Monopol, situated at the popular tourist site Luzern. The accommodations serve 35 percent of guests coming from Asian countries.
According to the Swiss newspaper Blick, the head of the hotel, Brigitte Heller, told local media in May that Chinese guests accumulated mountains of food on their plates but ended up leaving half of it behind when helping themselves to the buffet.
Since then, staff put up signs on the tables reading: “For ethical and moral reason, in Switzerland we do not throw away any food. Please put on your plate only what you do eat. Thank you for your understanding.” The signs were written both in English and Chinese.
Swiss media then published photos of food allegedly left behind by Chinese customers alongside some images of starving African children, describing the scene as “shocking pictures [contrasting] greedy Chinese”.
Heller said that most guests approved the action, but some feared that it would offend Chinese visitors, as the problem was only witnessed among a minority of Chinese guests. Other foreign visitors, of course, also wasted food, observers said.
Heller explained that the signs were only meant to remind guests not to waste food and were not specifically aimed at Chinese diners.
“We just wish that foreign guests would respect our cultures to a certain extent,” she said. She added that food waste has been reduced since the signs were put up.
[Images via Bastille Post & Apply Daily]
By Joyce Ng