Restaurant owners prepare for city upgrade
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.
Namgyal (left), the boss of a local Tibetan restaurant, in his restaurant.