A restaurant in southwest China has been forced to closed after a misguided marketing ploy. Jiamener, a restaurant in Chengdu, Sichuan province, experienced a surge of customers after launching an all-you-can-eat deal. The restaurant was serving up to 500 customers per day, with the crowds forming at 8am and the last customers not leaving until midnight. The problem was customers were only paying 120 yuan, about NZD $25 – per month.

“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.”

The owner also said that the aim was to gain a stronger position in other business deals.

“For instance, if I had lots of customers and many of them have to drink beer, then I have to buy lots of beer,” they said. “By relying on a huge sum of money and bargaining with the beer supplier, I could lower the price of the goods.”

The ploy failed. Eleven days after launching the promotion, Jianmener closed its doors for good.