KFC launches historical themed restaurants in 18 Chinese cities

National Museum of China says it hopes the initiative will have educational benefits

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 February, 2018, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 February, 2018, 6:18pm

US fast food restaurant chain KFC is displaying images and interactive content of historical artefacts and traditional Chinese culture in restaurants across 18 cities in China.

The National Museum of China has granted the firm intellectual property rights to create themed restaurants based in the cities where the items were unearthed, Xinhua reported.

Other Western businesses have also attempted to forge more of a Chinese identity, with the coffee chain Starbucks promoting membership cards and mugs with traditional Chinese designs, Xinhua said.

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In one KFC restaurant at Qianmen in Beijing, a large interactive screen shows how the traditional Lantern Festival was celebrated at the palace of the Emperor Xianzong. Customers scan a QR next to the screen to start the display.

A restaurant in Changsha in Hunan province has on display a bronze vessel depicting four rams that dates back to the Shang dynasty in the second millennium BC. An animated video explains how the relic was unearthed, according to the report.

In some restaurants, the layout of the tables and chairs is designed to reflect a specific relic or historical collection, it said.

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Li Liusan, the vice-director of the National Museum of China, was quoted as saying the initiative would have educational benefits.

“We know that 85 per cent of KFC’s customers in China are children and young people,” Li said. “We hope they can learn more about Chinese culture while eating.”

Some internet users, however, questioned how much diners were likely to take in and learn about the historical relics while they were busing eating their meals.