Local lowdown | Kenn Bermel on China bar and restaurant stereotypes

By Jim Boyce | Kenn Bermel of The Local recently posted about four stereotypes of the China bar and restaurant scene that don’t live up to scrutiny. I asked Kenn if I could repost and he agreed. You’ll find it below.

Also, check out The Local’s new weekly pizza, burger and other lunch deals—from 11 AM to 3 PM, from rmb49—and the Therapeutic Thursday deal with 10 pieces of fried chicken, four wings and four sauces for rmb100. That runs from 4 PM to 10 PM and you can add a pitcher of booze for another rmb100.

Here’s Kenn:

“I know this will fall on deaf ears, but anyone contributing to China travel guides, PLEASE top perpetuating the following rumors:

“1. Chinese people don’t like tips: This might be true for older Chinese, but 100% of my staff, and every delivery guy ever enjoys receiving tips, and it generally improves service and attitude (I’m still not sure why this is such a shock for some).”

“2. Everything in China is purposefully overpriced and can be bargained for: Please, just stop. This is true in very specific places and it is obvious in the atmosphere. This is clearly not true in a bar or restaurant. Trying to bargain the price on the cheapest beer we have during happy hour is obnoxious and you wouldn’t do it where you’re from.”

“3. All alcohol in China is fake: Like the previous two points there is some historic truth to this. However many alcohol distributors have realized what a huge market China is, and have made massive strides to protect their brands here (and profit of course). Yes, as a venue owner I could choose to sell fake booze. I don’t. I know a lot of others who do not, as well. We know which suppliers deal (usually openly) in fake booze and we avoid them.”

“4. Every business is trying to screw you out of a official receipt: More often than you think would be reasonable, there is a good explanation for being unable to produce a fapiao immediately. Sometimes the system is being updated. Sometimes, their web-based service isn’t working. We can’t make demands of the tax bureau. We can’t threaten to take our business elsewhere if they don’t get the fapiao machine working. We cannot tell you exactly when they will have the system back up. It’s not in our hands at all.”

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