Officials in Taiwan are begging people to stop changing their name to “salmon” after more than 130 fish-lovers changed their name to bag free sushi.
The incident, which has been dubbed “salmon chaos” in local media, has seen lots of young people formally request to change their name at government offices.
The unusual situation was prompted by Japanese chain Sushiro that ran a two-day promotion ending Thursday, March 18 which offered a free all-you-can-eat meal to any customer and five friends if they changed their name.
The customer just needed to show that their ID card contained the Chinese characters for salmon – “guiyu.”
Meanwhile, people with names that sounded similar to “salmon” could have 50 per cent slashed off their bill.
One college student told a local TV channel that they changed their name and managed to save £176.
Roughly translated, their new name means: “Explosive Good Looking Salmon.”
They told TVBS news: “I just changed my name this morning to add the characters ‘Bao Cheng Gui Yu’ and we already ate more than Tw$7,000).”
One woman admitted she also changed her name, as she told SET TV: “I’ve changed my first name to salmon and two of my friends also did.
“We’ll just change our names back afterwards.”
Other fishy names reported in local media included ‘Can’t Help But Want to Eat Free Salmon,’ “Salmon Prince”, “Meteor Salmon King” and “Salmon Fried Rice” – making for some unusual conversations with parents at home.
In Taiwan, people can officially change their name up to three times maximum – meaning two of the changes will be wasted by those who have taken advantage of the deal.
But fuming officials begged people to stop changing their name, as they complained it was taking up time.
Deputy interior minister, Chen Tsung-yen urged the public to “cherish administrative resources”.
He added: “This kind of name change not only wastes time but causes unnecessary paperwork. I hope everyone can be more rational about it.”
Dory Wang, a Sushiro marketing manager, said about 200 customers had visited the restaurant on Wednesday to take advantage of the promotion.
She said: “We appreciated those who are willing to change their names for our sushi.”