Salmon Chaos

Perverse incentives are often fun.

I have a lot of questions about this story of dozens of Taiwanese people changing their last name to “salmon” in order to get free food.

Questions about this strange Taiwanese all-you-can-eat sushi promotion

  • Just how little work is it to change your name in Taiwan?

  • How did the government decide that the number of allowable name changes would be three?

  • After a name change, how quickly can you obtain a new ID, with your new fish-based name?

  • Would former Major Leaguer Tim Salmon qualify for this promotion?

  • The promotion provides “an all-you-can-eat sushi meal along with five friends”. Does that mean the name-changer gets free food, provided they bring five paying friends (rather steep)? Or that up to six people, including the name-changer, get free food (rather bad business)?

  • When you’re done with this foolishness, do you change back immediately, thereby leaving yourself with just one more name change available? Or do you rock the salmon name for awhile, so you have two more changes remaining?

  • At a glance, this promotion seems to be poorly thought out on many fronts. Then again, it’s now leading to a ton of free press. On the third hand, the aforelinked article doesn’t even mention the chain (“Sushiro”) that offered this promotion by name.

    Regardless, I’m glad they did it, because it adds to the weirdness of the world in a wonderful way.