Restau­rant own­ers pre­pare for city up­grade

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By PALDEN NY­IMA and PHUNGTSOG TASHI in Xigaze, Ti­bet

It was al­ready 10 pm on a cold night in De­cem­ber, and Zhu Zao­qing, a Chi­nese restau­rant owner in Ti­bet’s Xigaze city, was still pre­par­ing for the next day.

On that day would be the cer­e­mony to cel­e­brate Xigaze’s up­grad­ing into a pre­fec­ture-level city. Zhu Zao­qing felt both plea­sure and worry.

She was pleased that a larger city would mean more guests and boost her business, but was con­cerned if her business could keep up.

“With Xigaze be­com­ing a city is linked with a rail­way net­work, it surely would wel­come more tourists,” said Zhu. “More out­siders means bet­ter business for me.”

The 44-year-old said that the lo­ca­tion of Xigaze city is cru­cial, be­cause it is the only way for tourists to ac­cess the world’s high­est moun­tain Qo­molangma (Mount Ever­est) and other key tourist attractions.

Zhu said that lo­cal Ti­betans ac­counts for 70 per­cent of the cus­tomers in her restau­rant, and that tourists are the majority dur­ing the sum­mer peak sea­son.

Nam­gyal is a Ti­betan restau­rant owner who sees im­prove­ments with the new sta­tus of Xigaze.

“It means Xigaze has de­vel­oped into a higher level, and I hope many tourists and out­siders would dis­cover my restau­rant,” he said.

Most of his cus­tomers are Ti­betan reg­u­lars, and the yak meat­ball noo­dles are his best-seller.

“I hope many out­siders, in­clud­ing tourists, come to my restau­rant, and I am sure they will like the food and the en­vi­ron­ment,” said the 36-yearold.

Be­fore open­ing a restau­rant in Xigaze five years ago, Nam­gyal was a truck driver, and his an­nual in­come in­creased from 50,000 yuan ($8,136) as a driver to 120,000 yuan as a restau­rant owner.

“I re­ceive an av­er­age of 500 guests each day for the mo­ment, and with less risk and more fun, I like the restau­rant business more,” he said.

Both restau­rant own­ers plan to ex­pand their busi­nesses in 2015.

Nam­gyal said he will add more staff and ex­pand the restau­rant’s area. Zhu also plans to add some new dishes to the menu.

PALDEN NY­IMA / CHINA DAILY

Nam­gyal (left), the boss of a lo­cal Ti­betan restau­rant, in his restau­rant.

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