Authorities Pounce on Restaurant That Challenged Customers To Eat 108 Dumplings

A restaurant in China that challenged its customers to eat more than 100 dumplings in exchange for a free meal has fallen foul of authorities, who are investigating whether the eatery has violated the country’s anti-food-waste law. Local authorities in Yibin City raided the restaurant after hearing of its “King of the Big Stomachs” challenge. To drum up interest, the restaurant advertised the challenge on social media, offering the dumplings free and additional prizes to anyone who could down 108 of the stuffed parcels. While competitive eating in Western countries is relatively common, they can be a sensitive matter in China. Many in the country still have memories of the famine of the 1950s that killed an estimated 45 million people. In the past, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called food waste “shocking and distressing,” and in March said agricultural supplies were like the foundation of national security. Under the food waste law, restaurant owners can be fined up to 10,000 yuan ($1,400) if their establishments “induce or mislead customers to order excessively to cause obvious waste.” Radio and television stations, as well as online video and audio providers, face a maximum fine of 10 times that amount if they’re found to be involved in “making, publishing, or promoting programs or audio messages about eating excessively and binge eating and drinking.”