Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Australia:  Racial discrimination in Sydney's Chinatown?

IT’S the Shanghai shuffle, the fried price — a Mandarin restaurant in Sydney’s CBD is charging English-speaking patrons more than 10 per cent extra per dish than their Chinese-speaking counterparts.

A serving of fried rice costs $2 more on the English menu than for people who order from the Chinese menu — ­effectively a 12.7 per cent fee on English-speakers.

Yin Li Sichuan restaurant owner Diana suggested it was meant to be a secret among Asian customers.  “The Chinese menu is usually just for Chinese people, they like the Sichuan flavour,” she said.

The Daily Telegraph pointed out the discrepancy in prices to a staff member at the Dixon St restaurant on Thursday night.

“The English menu is new, that’s why it’s more expensive,” she said. Both menus, however, appeared equally worn and dated.

A serving of fried rice with lettuce and beef is $17.80 on the English menu but only $15.80 for Chinese speaking customers. Mapo tofu ($16.80) and dried spicy bean ($17.80) are both $1 more if you can’t read Chinese.

The Daily Telegraph could not find any examples of cheaper dishes for English-speaking customers. The double standards have drawn the ire of the online community, with one customer labelling the restaurant “racist” in a review last year.

“Two menus — one for Chinese (cheaper) one for others (dearer),” wrote tripadvisor reviewer Stephanie. “Will never eat there again or encourage others. Racism (in) its worst form.”  Another wrote: “If you are not Chinese, do not eat here.”

It is against the law to offer goods or services at “less favourable terms or conditions” based on somebody’s race or nationality under Section 13 of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975.

But Restaurant and Catering Association chief executive John Hart said it was difficult to prove discrimination under the current law.  “It obviously doesn’t sit very comfortably,” he said.



Anonymous said...

If English speakers are willing to pay the prices on the English menu I don't see what the problem is. You have a choice to eat there or eat somewhere else. When the menu is placed in front of you, you can decide to order from it or to get up and leave.

Malcolm Smith said...

One wonders about the economics of this business. Would their Chinese customers depart if they charged the normal English price? Is this a case of setting the price according to what your customers can be expected to pay?
It reminds me of a cartoon I saw.
A saloon in the old west carries the notice, "No Injuns!"
An Indian walks in and demands whiskey. "Get out!" says the barman. "Can't you read?"
Obviously he can't, and he is not taking no for an answer. It looks like the Indian is getting belligerent, so the barman reluctantly hands him a shot of whisky and demands $10. Much to his amazement, the customer hands it over without a demur.
Next day, a group of Indians arrive. "Here comes trouble," thinks the barman. Instead, however, they each hand over a $10 bill and take their whisky.
By the third day, the notice has been changed. It now reads: "Indians only".

Bird of Paradise said...

PC nonsense continues

Anonymous said...

If 18c can't be applied in this case then there is justification to scrap it and the human rights commission because of the inherent prejudice within the system.

Unknown said...

Years ago I worked in New York City. Rockefeller Center was a huge tourist draw. One day a scandal hit the papers. It seems that a tourist couple was ordering a meal when they noticed one menu's prices were noticeably more expensive than the other. It turns out there was a 'locals' menu and a 'tourist' menu, priced accordingly.

Go Away Bird said...

Liberals are such a bunch of pansies their pathetic

Anonymous said...

Ask in any restaurant for the Masonic menu!