By Mike Pomranz
Updated January 13, 2015
Credit: © YAY Media AS / Alamy

Think you’re good-looking? Okay, but are you restaurants-are-willing-to-give-me-a-free-meal good-looking? If you want to find out, there’s a restaurant in China that’s happy to let you know where you stack up in the appearance department.

A hot pot restaurant in Zhengzhou, the capital of China’s Henan Provence, has a “Pay by Face” promotion, where they will judge the attractiveness of the clientele and offer up a free meal for the best-looking among them. The system is surprisingly comprehensive. Patrons get a facial scan that’s sent to a group that works at a local plastic surgery clinic. That team of beauty experts then rates diners according to, as the The Shanghaiist called it, “a detailed scoring rubric.” Then, every 30 minutes, the top five highest-scoring lookers in the restaurant get offered a free meal.

Truly sadistic types can head up to the second floor to see the scoring standards and figure out how they rank. Also, since visitors are judged against everyone else in the restaurant, if you’re only there gunning for a free meal, it probably would behoove you to take a stroll around the place and size up your competition before talking to the hostess. I’d plan for a 7 a.m. meal. No one looks good that early in the morning.