A hot pot restaurant in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, has recently become a hit on social media. Since it opened on Feb. 14, the Valentine’s Day, it has successfully matched many young couples, gaining it the title of “Encounter Restaurant.” Li You, born in 1993, and Peng Qi, born in 1996, both from Wuhan, are the founders of this restaurant. At the end of last year, Li quit his job as a pilot and began to develop the “Encounter Restaurant”, while Peng, who studied mechanical engineering at university, provided technical support for the design of the restaurant.
The restaurant is divided into an eat-alone area and a dating area. The dating area has 10 seats, where men sit on the left and women sit on the right, separated by a removable wooden board. If both customers want to get to know each other better, they can press a button above the dining table that moves the board so that they can eat together.
Written on the guest tables in the restaurant are the words “Would you like to find someone to eat with?” alongside small items such as flowers, dolls, and guestbooks.
26-year-old Mr. Sun has visited the “Encounter Restaurant” many times, and has already made two friends. “The first time I came to this restaurant was just to try something new. I fell in love with it for its warm-hearted atmosphere. I hope to make more new friends here,” he said.
“More women come to the restaurant than men. The dating area is more popular than the eat-alone area,” said a member of the restaurant staff.
“The ‘Encounter Restaurant’ receives 170 customers per day and is very popular among young people. Young people today are busy with work, with smaller social circles. I hope the ‘Encounter Restaurant’ can provide them with an easy and fun way to meet people,” said Li You.