Haidilao lets diners try viral craft

You might have heard of getting your nails done while you wait, but what about learning a new arts and crafts skill? Chinese hot pot chain Haidilao is letting customers do just that with a new Tufting Experience Station in a Hangzhou outlet.

Traditionally used for rug-making, tufting is when a gun-like device is used to punch yarn through a screen to create an image. The final image is then cut out of the screen, resulting in a fluffy, pom-pom textured artwork. The craft has exploded over social media both in China and overseas recently for its satisfying process and cute outcome. Users of China’s lifestyle-sharing platform shared their Haidilao tufting creation in droves, with the most popular post gaining 11.8k likes and 2842 comments.

Tufting is just the latest unexpected activity Haidilao has tried to tag onto dining, including massages, haircuts, and mani-pedis. Whilst the other add-ons usually act as an extension of Haidilao’s top-tier customer service, offering diners further chances to experience star treatment, the Tufting Station focuses more on the chance to learn something new. This appeals to many Chinese consumers’ thirst for knowledge and self-expression, as well as offering a more generative approach to stress relief.

Unlike other Haidilao services such as nail art, the Tufting Experience Station is not free for diners, although they do get a discount. Depending on the size of the final piece you aim to complete, the session will set you back anywhere from 39-99 RMB (5.5-13.9 USD), not including the 50% off for diners.


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