Several popular eateries in Pingtung County have gained their fame not with the distinguished dishes they serve, but rather with their “fortune pets” that greet customers at the doors.
Gazing with its dewy eyes at customers who walk in a Hakka-style restaurant, hidden down an alleyway off a street in Gaoshu Township (高樹), a French bulldog named Niu Niu (妞妞) jumps onto a chair while patrons order from the menu.
Cameras flash nonstop as the dog charms the audiences. Some customers even ask for the “animal star” upon entering the restaurant, owner Liao Chia-feng (廖家豐) said.
Customers of a restaurant in Ligang Township (里港) may be equally amazed by a goose, called Diao Chan (貂蟬) — named after one of the four beauties of ancient China.
Diao Chan does not mind being held in people’s arms, and even seems to take pleasure in leaning up against whoever is holding it, restaurant chef Wu Shu-chuan (吳淑娟) said.
Meanwhile, the four felines in a coffeehouse in Sandimen Township (三地門) owned by Lee Chiu-yueh (李秋月) appear to be better at attracting business than a Japanese money cat — a common figurine that is believed to bring fortune to store owners.
While some of the cats rest at the entrance to the shop to greet customers, others act as waiters to show them to their seats.
A lot of people come for the kitties, making them the most competent of money cats, Lee said.