Tainan to enlist secret diners to assess English-friendly eateries

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) The Tainan City government is planning to launch an initiative in June to obtain customer feedback on the service at its English-friendly eateries, the city's Office of English as the Second Official Language (OEASOL) said Tuesday.Under the secret diner program, 100 foreign nationals will each be given a subsidy of NT$2,000 (US$66.92) to dine at Tainan's English-friendly restaurants and relay their impressions and suggestions to the city government, said OEASOL Director Lee Hsien-wei.The secret diners will be expected to provide information relating to matters such as the eateries' bilingual service, menus and promotional brochures, Lee said.Registration for the secret diner program is expected to start in June and will be open to foreign nationals living in Taiwan, according to OEASOL Deputy Director Sabrina Tien.The 100 people who are selected will be expected to carry out the assessments from June to August, she said.Building on a previous initiative to help the city's businesses foster an English-friendly environment, OEASOL is now gradually shifting its focus to assisting with marketing, according to Lee.The marketing strategy includes helping to distribute restaurants' bilingual coupons and vouchers to foreign students in Tainan to promote local food, he said.OEASOL, which started operations in March 2015, has been striving to "provide English resources to both foreigners and citizens and establish an environment that is friendly to both English speakers and English learners," according to its website.With OEASOL's efforts, Tainan now has more than 500 English-friendly shops, according to Lee.