For many older people, going out to eat becomes a bit of a luxury as finances grow a bit tighter. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy the opportunity to go out and have a tasty outfit.
However, there are restaurants around the world that are especially welcoming to older patrons, who may not be normally be able to afford to eat out.
In China, one noodle shop that has been going above and beyond to accommodate elderly patrons with their “free noodles initiative”.
For the past seven years, Xiaojun Wang has been serving meals to anyone over the age of 70, completely free of charge.
Everyday Wang serves up around 10 bowls of free noodles for the elderly, some of whom are regulars at his store. And on busier days, he can serve up to 20 or 30 bowls.
He even has a sign at the front window promoting the store’s “free noodles initiative” – inviting all older people to come in for a warm lunch.
And not only is he giving the meals away, he also cooks the meals for his elderly patrons a little differently too.
At the store, located in the central region of China, Wang takes the time to slice the noodles a bit thinner and cook them a bit longer, making them easier to eat.
One elderly woman, a regular customer at his noodle shop, said that Wang was “very kind” and put in “extra care” for all his customers.
However she did worry about his business idea, suggesting that he should offer senior discounts rather than giving away food for free.
Wang explained to local reporters that he was inspired to do this from his time in the military.
During his service as a soldier, where he spent 12 years in the western Qinghai province, he saw that the elderly locals would help to take care of him despite having their own hardships.
Wang says that we wanted to find some way to repay their generosity, “I told myself that when I get the opportunity, I would help them”.
Wang hopes his actions will encourage young people to show more respect for their elder – especially since that will be them in the future.
“Everyone will get old one day, while we’re still young we should help the elderly,” he said.