Restaurant that peddled barbecue ... and girls in bikinis is suspended

A barbecue restaurant which sparked controversy on social media for having waitresses dressed only in bikinis has had its business suspended by the authorities.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A woman walks past the Maixida barbeque restaurant in the Pudong New Area that used waitresses wearing only bikinis to attract customers. It closed yesterday.

A barbecue restaurant which sparked controversy on social media for having waitresses dressed only in bikinis has had its business suspended by the authorities yesterday while the matter is being investigated. 

Social media users criticized the Maixida restaurant on 7779 Shangnan Road in the Pudong New Area for using the stunt to attract customers. Many said the authorities should stop the restaurant. 

“There is no regulation that prohibits waitresses from wearing bikinis,” said Ling Qiang, office director of Kangqiao Town, in which the restaurant is located. 

“But we would advise the restaurant not to do so.”  

Shanghai Daily reporter called the restaurant at 11am yesterday to make a reservation, but was told to call again after 3pm. When he called after 3pm, the restaurant did not answer his call.

When he arrived at the restaurant at 4pm, it was closed and no one was there. A note that says “closed for renovation” was stuck on the door.

The owner of the shop next door, who called himself Guo, said some people in uniforms went to the Maixida restaurant about 11:30am. 

“They stayed there for about an hour, then they closed the restaurant,” he said.

Guo said Maixida had changed its manager in October in an effort to improve its business. 

He said Maixida hired several models about two weeks ago. “The business became significantly better. Many people came for the waitresses in bikinis,” Guo said, adding that the business of restaurants on Shangnan Road had been poor.  

“The bikini girls got paid 500 yuan (US$76) for six hours, don’t ask me how I know,” said Guo. 

The owner of another barbecue restaurant across the street, who called himself Lu, said he knew Maixida’s owner. “The owner wants to do some interior renovation, it will reopen soon,” Lu said.

There are three barbecue restaurants named Maixida in Shanghai, according to information from the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce that is available to the public. 

The information shows that the registered address of the company that runs the Maixida restaurants, Jiyucheng Food and Beverage Management Limited, is 258 Pingdu Road in Pudong. Another Maixida restaurant is located at that address. 

Shanghai Daily reporter called the Maixida restaurant on Pingdu Road, but its receptionist denied that the Maixida restaurant on Shangnan Road was its sister outlet.

He later contacted Liu Chenggang, the owner of Jiyucheng, who said he owned all three Maixida restaurants. 

“We are fully licensed. The promotion with bikinis has raised attention online, that’s all,” he said.

Liu said his restaurant were being investigated, but he claimed that he did not break the law.

The Kangqiao Town authority said, however, that the Maixida restaurant on Shangnan Road was fined in August for operating without a food hygiene license. “They then altered their operating time to dodge the inspections. This time it was suspended for the same reason,” said an officer with the authority.

The Pudong New Area Market Supervision and Management Bureau confirmed that the Maixida restaurant had been suspended from operating, but it did not confirm whether it had a food hygiene license. 

“Further investigation is needed,” said an officer from the bureau.

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