Hainan University turns cafeteria into social hub

By Cai Rong / hiHainan / Updated: 2020-10-24,17:02

It looks like No. 1 Cafeteria is going to live up to its name. Thanks to a recent renovation, the dining hall at Hainan University in Haikou went from being one of the oldest to trendiest.

No. 1 Cafeteria offers a feast for the eyes. Half of the hall features a seaside mural complete with a sandy shore, sailboats and seagulls, thereby creating a unique seafront dining experience. The other half targets those in the mood for some pop culture, namely, the iconic Hello Kitty. Hundreds of chairs have been refitted in pink with Hello Kitty faces.

What’s more, the cafeteria has a robot maître d. Not only can the smart bot dance and sing, but he’s also able to recommend good restaurants in the hood.

According to university officials, No. 1 Cafeteria aims to create an inviting place for the students, faculties and staff alike. When asked why Hello Kitty was chosen, the answer was simple: the cute character is popular among girls, and No. 1 Cafeteria is close to two female dorms.

So far, reviews have been good. “I love the Hello Kitty chairs. So, I keep coming back to eat,” said Zhao Yu, a third-year student at Hainan University. “I like the relaxing ambience here. Plus, there’s the robot! He’s always fun to see,” said Huang Shuo, a biotechnology major.

Food-wise, No. 1 Cafeteria boasts Chinese local dishes of great taste and value. With buffet and fast food options, the cafeteria is open longer than other dining halls on campus from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Newly renovated No. 1 Cafeteria (Huang Ting)

A robot maître d’ (Huang Ting)

Hello Kitty chairs (Huang Ting)

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