Place mats usually come with intricate designs, puzzles or even menus printed on them. But the owners of one restaurant in the city of Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, decided to do a service for the community while delivering food by printing the information of lost children on their table mats.
The restaurateur wanted to make use of the popularity of takeout orders to spread the word about local children who went missing. Yang Jianbo said more than 7,000 of these mats have been delivered with food orders in one month.
The information on the paper has been carefully selected, he said.
"My food delivery area is in Chengdu, so the cases of missing children need to be in the area as well and have occurred in recent months.”
The mats are printed in black and white, with the story of the lost child on one side and the information of those looking for them on the other. The missing child's appearance, clothes and any photographs taken before their disappearance are also featured on the paper.
The idea came to Yang when he and his partner saw a notice of a missing person on the side of the road.
"We thought that if we put the announcement of a missing person on the place mat and send it out with the meals, people could look at it while they were eating. We also hope it can help us receive more good reviews for this."
A Chinese website that helps parents find their missing children, Baobeihuijia.com, contacted the restaurant and is willing to offer help and update the information of abducted children.
"We support the idea that many delivery companies also print information about missing children on their boxes, so more people would be reached," a staff at the website told local news.