Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Taitung self-pay bakery to stay open after theft

By Wang Hsiu-ting and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman looks at a 24-hour self-pay bakery at Luminous Hot Spring Resort & Spa in Taitung County’s Luye Township on Monday.

Photo: Wang Hsiu-ting, Taipei Times

Luminous Hot Spring Resort & Spa said it would continue a 24-hour self-pay bakery on its premises, despite the theft of money from the kiosk on Sunday.

Hotel manager Pan Kuei-lan (潘貴蘭) said about NT$4,000 was stolen from a cashbox at the kiosk after a thief cut off a small padlock that kept it locked.

Deposits into the box last month were the lowest to date, Pan said, but added that the kiosk would not be closed, despite the latest setback.

Taitung County’s Luye Township (鹿野), where the hotel is located, has the highest concentration of self-pay kiosks in the county, she said, citing as examples Popsicle kiosk Chun I Chih and kiosks run by the Yong Chang Aboriginal community (永昌部落).

The bakery, which opened last summer at the entrance to the resort on Provincial Highway No. 9, sells handmade cakes and cream puffs.

The resort’s resident baker makes the cakes and pastries every morning, Pan said, adding that 60 items are made each day and sold for NT$50 each.

“People can just walk up to the refrigerators and take out what they want, leaving money in the cashbox for payment,” Pan said. “Demand is always greater than supply, they sell out within an hour-and-a-half on average.”

The kiosk has become popular with locals and is a hot spot for Facebook check-ins, she said, but added that while the bakery kiosk has been successful, it does not generate a profit.

“In the year since the bakery opened, an average of 20 percent of customers per month have not paid, resulting in annual losses of nearly NT$300,000. The revenue just covers the material costs,” Pan said.

The electricity costs for the refrigerators are absorbed by the resort, while the baker considers his work on the cakes to be volunteered, she said.

“I would never have imagined that 30 percent of customers last month would take cakes without paying and that we would find the cashbox empty this month,” Pan said, adding that she forgives the thief or thieves if they truly needed the money.

She said the hotel is to change its money collection schedule for the kiosk to twice daily — once at noon and once in the evening.

The Guanshan Precinct said the resort filed a report about the incident, but added that there is no surveillance camera nor evidence to collect.

They said they would actively pursue any leads.

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