Friday, December 01, 2023
Web Desk

WATCH: Haidilao staffers dance up viral dining experience across entire Chinese 'food' chain

Haidilao dance, originating from a wedding tradition in Guangxi, has become an internet sensation

Web Desk

A group of Haidilao waiters perform the "kemusan" dance at a branch of the Chinese hot pot in China. —@xiaohang888/Douyin

China's renowned hot pot restaurant chain, Haidilao, is adding a new dimension to its dining experience by incorporating a captivating dance routine, known as the "kemusan," into its services.

The dance, originating from a wedding tradition in Guangxi, has become an internet sensation on Chinese social media, with staff members performing the routine while diners enjoy their hot pot meals.

To unlock this unique service, diners simply need to utter the code word "kemusan" to the servers, revealing a fusion of Western disco beats and traditional Chinese folk singing accompanying the dance. Videos of the performance have gone viral, showcasing diners joining in on the fun.

This isn't Haidilao's first foray into viral entertainment—the chain gained fame a decade ago with its signature noodle dance, where staff artfully stretch the dough into noodle ribbons. However, the recent "kemusan" dance has sparked a debate online, with some critics considering it a "low" promotional tactic.

A mother's complaint about the dance's "tacky squirming" triggered a fierce online debate, reaching over 10 million views on Weibo. While some see it as a unique and entertaining experience, others criticize it as exploitative, suggesting that staff appear stiff and emotionless after performing the routine.

In response, a Haidilao spokesperson stated that the company encourages innovation across branches, offering financial rewards to staff for their efforts. The company remains committed to providing incentives for employees who gain customer recognition, although it refrained from directly addressing online criticism.

Known for its unconventional approach to customer engagement, Haidilao incorporates traditional Chinese opera performances, free drink refills, snacks, and additional services like manicures and shoe shines.

The chain's dynamic and communal atmosphere is exemplified by the recent dance trend, enhancing the overall hot pot experience for patrons.