Monday, December 08, 2008

Self-service Vegetarian Restaurants

You know, a self-service restaurant can cut down on its workforce, and the saving can be transferred to the customers.

In Malaysia, self-service dining was spearheaded by international fast food chains such as KFC and McDonald’s. Recently, I notice that many vegetarian restaurants have adopted the idea. In fact, they go a step further by asking the patrons to return the used crockery to designated place…

Actually, in the United States, it is common for a customer in McDonald’s to return the tray after the meal. Malaysians, somehow, do not generally have the DIY spirit. Most just leave the trash and trays to the restaurant staff. However, majority of Malaysians eat vegetarian food for religious reasons. The self-service vegetarian restaurants are probably banking on the ‘Buddha factor’, as understood from the Chinese saying:

Even if we don’t give face to the monks, we should give face to the Buddha.


When we help the restaurants, we are "pretending" that we are kind, caring and religious, right?

The price? In the restaurant located near my workplace, a simple meal costs just RM2, and Chinese tea is provided for free. That is really cheap…


  1. that really a good idea, actually if they ask the customers wash their own plate, do u think people will do it or not?

    i still remember, my 1st time dine at US fast food restaurant, i didn't put the tray back, cos we really don't do that in Malaysia. Luckily my host children told me to do so. :p

  2. We have that RM2 meal restaurant here too. Opened not so long ago, but I havent been there yet.

  3. Singapore has that method, not Malaysian :(

    We Malaysian still got a lot to learn

  4. processor got up due to the effect? hmmm, that is new...i dont think so...^_^

  5. We have a self-service restaurant here too. It's kind of a fancy, cafeteria-style place. Really cool. :)

  6. "if they ask the customers wash their own plate..." Kikey let me recalled back the time I join the camp that organized by Buddhist society. Haha...

  7. MidValley Megamall, got a Indian cuisine Restaurant,similar with the restaurant you mentioned here. Vegetarian, self service buffet...
    But not RM2.

    The price is you think how much you wanna pay, then you pay it! You can pay RM1 or RM100 for a meal, is up to you. Special and cool!

  8. kikey
    You are soooooo bright! *thumbs up*

    Yes, it is possible to ask the patrons to wash their plates. We do this in monasteries too.

    I think they are imitating each other.

    Wondering if education works...

    I hope you are not telling me that's McDonald's.

    Haven't been to MidValley for ages. Must check out...

  9. That's really cheap! I think self service is a good idea, but washing your own dishes? Not too sure about that! : )

  10. foongpc
    Regarding washing dishes - that should be voluntary.

  11. actually i think it is a good idea to return back the dishes/tray on our own, cut down on the labour and give us better quality food!

  12. interesting...
    but is this effective ?

    Ikea is having the similar concept, but how many of us do that ? XD

  13. RM2 is really cheap... are you working in KL?

  14. xin
    You can't expect too much for RM2 la...

    Ikea doesn't have the 'Buddha factor'...

    Yes, I work in KL.

  15. Restaurants in Ikea (Swedish furniture giant) also encourage this self-service clearance.

    However, Asians being Asians, there will always be many who ignore this rule.

    In the pursue for bigger economic progress, its sometimes easy to lose touch on social gaciousness.

  16. shingo
    People in Singapore also don't do that? (-_-")

  17. Of course not McDonald's. :P Haha. I'm serious. There's this pasta restaurant that has a cafeteria-style ambiance but can pass off as sort of fine dining too!