Hong Kong restaurants could lose as much as US$387 million in revenue for July alone as unprecedented social-distancing arrangements made necessary by a third wave of Covid-19 cases deal a fresh blow to an already struggling sector, insiders have told SCMP.
Restaurant operators who spoke to the Post said takeaway and delivery services, along with steep discounts offered since a week long ban on nighttime dine-in services began last Wednesday, have failed to inject life into the sector, or offset lost revenue.
The ban and a rule capping customers to four per table were on Sunday extended until 28th July, as the city’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases topped the entire tally for 2003’s Sars epidemic.
To date, more than 100 Hong Kong restaurants have been visited by people later confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, including Tao Heung in Mong Kok’s Grand Plaza and a Fairwood branch at Ping Shek Estate in Kwun Tong district.
According to Openrice, an online restaurant guide, more than 250 Hong Kong restaurants went out of business in June alone. There are about 12,000 licensed eateries in the city.
For online delivery apps Food Panda and Deliveroo, customer’s demand on its platform grew 100 percent year on year between January’s Lunar New Year in January and March.
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Restaurants are now extending the hours of lunch services, getting creative with ideas like “dunch” by Pirata, but if this could work over the weekend, week days still need the dining out back.
(Source: South China Morning Post)