One of China's most popular hot pot chains, Hai Di Lao, plans to shut down more than 300 stores by the end of the year, but it remains unclear whether Richmond's location will be affected.
News about the company closing hundreds of its outlets went viral on Chinese social media Weibo (also known as the Chinese version of Twitter) with around 510 million reads overnight. The hotpot chain currently operates 1,597 locations worldwide, including one in Richmond.
The Richmond News reached out to the local outlet this morning and was told by staff they have no idea if Richmond's location will be affected, but added more details will probably be released in the following days.
According to Chinese state-run media, the outlets that are to be closed have relatively low foot traffic and poor business performance.
Hai Di Lao's table turnover rate has dropped dramatically over the past two years. The average table turnover rate was 4.8 per day in 2020 but fell to only three per day earlier this year, causing a significant financial loss for the company.
The restaurant is well-known for its over-the-top customer service, offering customers snacks and drinks -- along with a free manicure -- while waiting in line for a table.
People who dine alone get a giant teddy bear to accompany them for hot pot. And if it’s your birthday, you’ll be serenaded with birthday songs.