Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Saturday, Feb 24, 2024

Eating out back on menu for Hong Kong’s unvaccinated as restaurants enjoy boost

Eating out back on menu for Hong Kong’s unvaccinated as restaurants enjoy boost

Some restaurants have added tables to boost business following the cancellation of capacity limits.

Restaurant operators said they had recorded at least 10 per cent growth in business on Thursday after Hong Kong lifted most pandemic restrictions, with unvaccinated diners back among their clientele.

Some restaurants chose to retain infection-control measures such as using partitions to reassure customers amid the continued coronavirus outbreak even though the government no longer requires a 1.5-metre space between tables.

The Post visited restaurants in Wan Chai, Mong Kok and Causeway Bay and found that some restaurants had added tables to boost business following the cancellation of capacity limits. The vaccine pass scheme was scrapped, too. But people must still wear masks in public and on transport.

Thomas Woo Chu, director of Hsin Kuang Restaurant Group that operates more than 20 Chinese restaurants, said he welcomed back many unvaccinated elderly patrons on Thursday morning and saw a 10 per cent uptick in revenue.

London Restaurant in Mong Kok, where dividers remain for some diners to give a sense of security.

His chain had been fined about a dozen times in the past eight to nine months, he recalled, and the lifting of social-distancing rules would not only save compliance costs, but also avoid conflicts between frontline staff and less tech-savvy elderly customers.

“Customers are always right, aren’t they? When we asked them to show their smartphones and scan the QR code [for the vaccine pass] … they would yell at us for making many demands and we could only accept it,” he said.

With the vaccine pass checkpoint history, Woo planned to also store the table dividers so diners could better interact in reunions, while air purifiers would remain in place.

William So Man-sing, general manager of a dim sum house called London Restaurant in Mong Kok, said he believed that keeping the dividers would help to maintain an appropriate social distance between customers and give them a sense of security, while the removal of the vaccine pass benefited some elderly customers who had not been vaccinated.

“I saw many familiar customers who haven’t been vaccinated come back again today – they used to order delivery for so long but now they can dine in,” he said.

A customer in his 70s who has not been inoculated said the vaccine pass requirement still left him feeling angry and the government should have removed it earlier.

“My freedom has been limited for so long, the relaxation is giving me back my rights, why should I feel happy and grateful?” said the man, who did not give his name.

Diner Cheng Kai-cheung, a 71-year-old retired engineer, said he was more willing to ask friends out for dim sum. “For us retired people, we want to be happy and healthy, now the relaxation makes restaurants more lively, I feel much better than before during friends’ gathering,” he said.

Wong Ngai, a 50-year-old manager of Chinese restaurant Qi Lu Jia Yan in Wan Chai, said they had added tables to rooms to welcome more guests.

“Now there are no restrictions, so the more people in a room, the more interest we can have, we have doubled the capacity of a room from 12 people to 24.”

Ray Chui Man-wai, chairman of Kam Kee Holdings that operates a chain of cha chaan teng, said the group’s restaurants saw a 10 per cent increase in business on Thursday, and he anticipated a further rise of up to 30 per cent when mainland Chinese visitors returned to the city. The Hong Kong government aims to restore quarantine-free travel with the mainland from mid-January.

Chui said dividers would remain in his restaurants for at least a short while because his patrons often shared a table at the denser dining rooms.

“As we still have to wear masks, customers feel a higher risk when they remove them to eat,” he said. “They want to have these dividers for a stronger sense of security.”

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.