It has produced the extra food menu alongside one in English at all 43 of its student-oriented Scream bars in major university towns and cities.
Phrases such as “nǐ chīfàn le ma” (Have you eaten yet?) and “Kuàng yīpǐn tuō” (Mine’s a pint) are becoming more common with about 130,000 Chinese students now studying in Britain.
The Government is encouraging more Chinese people to study in the UK, with Chancellor George Osborne yesterday stressing in a speech in Beijing: “There is no limit to the number of Chinese who can study in Britain.”
The food at Scream bars remains the same apart from sweet chilli chicken noodles and a lime and chilli chicken salad bringing a few oriental flavours. So Chinese students can ask for “炸鱼柳配薯条” for fish and chips and “英式早餐” for a traditional full English breakfast.
“We wanted to ensure we catered for the explosion in Chinese students drawn to study in the UK”, said George Wright, head of marketing at Stonegate Pub Company.
“So, along with being able to select their favourite dish in their mother tongue, they can practise their translation skills at the same time.
“We haven’t gone so far as to train all our staff in Mandarin. We have found the age-old tradition of pointing the finger to the item still works.”