Being single in China; from a walk of shame to a badge of freedom.
'23 seats' a trendy noodle joint in Beijing looks like it was designed for COVID19 pandemic era dining. People are seated individually along long, gunmetal tables, each enclosed in an individual cubicle. The staff avoid contact with the customers as much as they can, sliding steaming bowls across the tables using a retractable metal board.
However '23 seats' was already open before the pandemic and is one of many businesses catering to this new breed of “single dogs”, as China’s singles self-mockingly call themselves.
Its deliberately antisocial décor is designed to attract people who simply want to enjoy a good meal without feeling anxious about their lack of company.
The number of singles in China has surpassed 200 million, according to government data released last year. The total number of single people living alone, meanwhile, is expected to reach 90 million by 2021 with many making career in major cities and putting off marriage until their 30's.
Businesses are quickly tapping into this growing consumer segment by single diner restaurants, mini kitchen equipments, single use foods or influencers promoting single lifestyle.
A society in rapid transformation !