As someone who has a hard time breathing after a few days in China, I found this article to be (almost) a breath of fresh air. After all, who would not want to go to a smoke-free restaurant in Beijing to duck away from the pollution outside and a crazy schedule of supplier visits followed by smoke-filled banquets? It turns out that not too many people would. Alas, smoke free in China also means customer free, as the title of the above-linked blog curiously suggests. According to the post, "Meizhou Dongpo is Beijing's first smoke-free restaurant chain, and while it has less ashtrays around than other restaurants, it also has less customers ... For the past three months, [its] occupancy rate has dropped to about 80 percent of that enjoyed by other restaurants across the street." The thought of this makes me want to, well, cough. (hat-tip: Amy Edwards).
- Jason Busch