Some TikTok videos that showed customers taking home food from Korean barbecue restaurants were talked about online.
Through the hashtag #Samgyuphack, some TikTok content creators shared videos of themselves sneaking meat, vegetables and other food items into tumblers and small containers while dining at Korean BBQ or samgyupsal establishments.
TikTok users who uploaded the videos presented them as “life hacks” or “techniques” to save money for leftovers from their orders.
Similar to buffet joints, most Korean BBQ restaurants that offer unlimited food and beverages at a price charge leftover food from their customers.
These places also normally do not allow takeout.
The latest one was uploaded on November 28 by a TikToker bearing the username @nchlndr.
The user captioned it with: “Pinagbabawal ng teknik.”
In the ten-second footage, a diner took a plate full of cooked meat and furtively slid the pieces into a plastic container under the table. The container was also placed inside an open bag.
@nchlndr Pinag babawal na teknik 😆 #fyp #foryou #samgyup #samgyuphacks #lifehack ♬ original sound – Taeao
As of writing, the video garnered more than 639,000 views, 39,000 likes and 866 shares on the video-sharing service.
Another video of the same nature was uploaded on October 31 by a TikToker bearing the username @kayiiiidgaf.
This time, the customers used a metal tumbler as their container.
They toss pieces of cooked beef and chicken inside the tumbler that sat on top of their table. It also seemed that their table can be seen by other people.
This short clip garnered more views with 1.2 million so far.
@kayiiiidgaf SULBAD SUMSUMAN #samgyupsal #lifehacks #samgyuphack #fyp ♬ BIZCOCHITO – ROSALÍA
Such TikTok content drew mixed reactions from the local TikTok community.
Some Filipinos were amused by it. Other users even tagged their friends and loved ones to convince them on doing the same.
Some of them, however, described these TikTok content creators as “squammy,” a term often used to mean boorish or classless, for their sneaky food takeout.
‘A shameful act?’
This Korean BBQ trend was also talked about on other social media platforms.
Other online users perceived the supposed technique of bagging food when establishment policies prohibit it as disrespectful and shameful.
“Nakakahiya naman. Respetuhin naman natin yung restaurant, if feeling mo lugi ka, wag ka na kumain sa labas. Maybe it’s time you save your own money kaysa gumawa ka ng ganyan,” one Instagram user said.
“This should not be done. If you think hindi sulit sayo yung unlimited, then go somewhere ala carte. Businesses are trying to survive and doing something like this will kill more business owners. Think of your actions,” another Instagram user said.
Other online users also raised the possibility of customers, who are bringing tumblers for their own beverages, getting banned in these restaurants in the future.
“Paano naman yung legit na nagdadala ng tumbler because ayaw ng tubig sa resto or may preferred na drink to bring? Mapag- iisipan ng masama,” one Instagram user commented.
In February 2021, two TikTok content creators drew flak for their video that showed one of them filling in an empty jar with a Japanese spice blend called togarashi from a restaurant.
Restaurant Owners of the Philippines or Resto PH, an association that supports Filipino restaurants and their employees, immediately called the content creators out on Facebook.
The association perceived what they did was “theft” at a time when the food and beverage industry in the country is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.