A hot pot restaurant in China had to close after going nearly $80,000 into debt two weeks into a month long all-you-can-eat promotion.
Jiamener, the restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan province, was forced to close its doors last week, just seven months after opening, due to the failed campaign, the South China Morning Post reports.
Starting June 1, customers could pay about $19 for a membership card, which entitled them to unlimited food for the whole month.
The owners, Su Ji and Wang Mengfan, were hoping the special deal would not only earn them repeat customers, but also discounts from vendors for purchasing greater quantities of food, according to the Post.
“We knew we would be losing money [by launching the discount promotion],” one of the owners said. “We wanted to accumulate more loyal clients through this strategy.”
Over the 14 days the promotion was running, Jiamener received over 500 customers a day, with many lining up around 8 a.m. and others not leaving till after midnight, the Post reports.
Su attributed a lack of business knowledge as the primary reason for the restaurant’s closure, but said customer behavior also played a part.
“The uncivilized behavior of the diners was secondary — the main problem was our poor management,” he told the Post.