Once again, Xi Jinping’s chosen baozi chain is finding itself under yet more unfavorable public scrutiny with pictures going viral online from unsatisfied and just plain grossed out customers.
The first incident occurred over the weekend with a customer ordering a simple pumpkin congee at one of Qingfeng Steamed Buns’ many locations in Beijing. About a third of the way through, the diner suddenly discovered that a little something extra had been added to his porridge, a thin steel wire. Yum.
Immediately following that incident, another customer posted online about his experience at a separate Qingfeng location. He tried to return a dish of pork slices, because he said that it contained inedible parts of the pig. However, the cook insisted that it was perfectly fine meat. The customer queried fellow patrons who all agreed that they’ve never seen meat that color before; still staff wouldn’t budge, Sina News reports.
“This meat dish isn’t cheap, but I can’t eat it,” the customer sighed. “Just looking at it makes me queasy. When things like this happen, I just have to resign myself to bad luck.
With great power comes great publicity, Qingfeng was lucky enough to be the chosen destination for an “impromptu” Xi Jinping visit in 2013 that set the chain on the road to becoming a legitimate tourist spot. However, last month, one of its locations was caught offering a filling for its steamed buns that no customer had asked for, roaches, while another shop was discovered serving other icky insects with its food.
All of this bad publicity might just harm Qingfeng’s ambitious five-year plan released during the summer that calls for the franchise to IPO, expand from 312 shops to 1,000 total locations and construct a state of the art “Steamed Bun Research Center.”
Following Xi’s oh-so-casual visit to chow down at one of the Qingfeng locations, the chosen restaurant became so incredibly popular that patriotic customers would have to wait in line for more than hour to order their “Presidential Combo Meal.” The restaurant even had to remove the table where the down-to-earth president had once sat for fear that customers would fight over the seat that once had been graced by Xi’s high-pants.
Once the initial fervor wore off, the restaurant continued to capitalize on its hard-won notoriety by becoming a highlight on five-day packaged tours of Beijing right alongside the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.
However, if scandals like these keep up, there is no way that David Cameroon is going to want to pay a visit on his next trip to Beijing.
[Images via Sina]