Hello Kitty theme restaurant attracts crowds
Updated: 2011-12-28 15:03
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
China's first Kitty restaurant attracts more than it can seat
BEIJING - China's first Hello Kitty theme restaurant was launched recently in the capital. It's so crowded at all times that it's advisable to call ahead and reserve a spot before reaching the venue.
In China's first Hello Kitty theme restaurant, newly opened in downtown Beijing, two girls play with a big doll modeled after the cartoon character on Saturday. [Photo/ China Daily]
Expectedly, it's all pink and sweet inside the restaurant, authorized by the Japanese parent company Sanrio. The tablecloth is pink, as are the chairs, ceiling and floor, even the lamp light shines soft and rosy.
Waiters are in white shirts with a red bow and blue rompers, while waitresses wear pink dresses.
The whole restaurant is designed like a dining room in a fairy tale. A Christmas tree stands in the middle of the room, surrounded with Kitty balloons - a favored spot for taking pictures in the restaurant.
Dining at Hello Kitty Dreams Restaurant, which opened on Dec 23 at Sanlitun Village shopping zone in Beijing, costs 160 yuan ($25) on average per person. Sanlitun Village is regarded as one of the city's most charming areas, lined with bars and international brand-name stores.
Duan Yahui, a 21-year-old woman from East China's Shandong province, celebrated her birthday with her boyfriend at the restaurant.
"I was so happy to celebrate my birthday at the Kitty theme restaurant," she said. "It's like being in Disneyland."
Duan was very satisfied with the food, and showed off her Kitty-shaped birthday chocolate, sent by the restaurant.
"It's too cute to eat," she laughed. "My friends in my hometown who also love Kitty are jealous about my experience," she joked. "I will bring them here when they visit me during the Spring Festival."
Duan was lucky to get a spot by calling for reservation weeks ago. But other fans weren't as lucky.
Han Yang and her friend were stopped at the entrance on Christmas Day.
"I came particularly to have a Christmas brunch with my friend," said Han, staff member at China Mobile Limited Company, who drove all the way from the fringes of the city with a friend but was unable to get in, not having a reservation.
"I understand its popularity since it's the first Kitty theme restaurant in China," she said and booked for lunch on Jan 3.
Hello Kitty is a Japanese cartoon character that has thousands of fans all over the world. Kitty has been portrayed as a white girl cat with a pink bow and been widely accepted and loved in Asia since it was created. It's now a big global brand. Kitty
The first 10 customers are admitted without reservation during afternoon teatime, according to Sarah Wang, CEO of the restaurant. But it's obviously not enough.
"How sad! Only customers with reservation can get in, but the phone is busy all the time," complained a netizen who goes by the name Yumeili on Dec 23 in a post on Sina micro blog, the nation's largest micro-blogging website.
The restaurant's hotline (010-84059021) is busy at all times. Wang said they applied for more hotlines to ensure greater convenience to customers.
Although the restaurant could accommodate 100 customers, Wang reserved a table against each order during the trial run to maintain high-quality service.
Wang is not keen to open a chain of restaurants, in spite of the overwhelming success of the pilot outlet.
"It's my first time in gourmet business and I wish to go about it carefully," Wang said.
Luo Wangshu contributed to this story.