Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Monday, May 27, 2024

Will business bloom as Hong Kong marks Valentine’s Day with few Covid curbs?

Will business bloom as Hong Kong marks Valentine’s Day with few Covid curbs?

Vendors say more love birds are celebrating over the weekend and requesting flowers earlier.

Hong Kong company executive Antony Wong plans to treat his girlfriend to her favourite cuisine, Korean, to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Tuesday but a romantic candlelit dinner is off the menu.

Wong, who works for a packaged foods firm, had considered splurging on a fancy dinner with fine wine for his girlfriend of more than a year, but keeping a tight rein on the purse strings made him opt for a more low-key and wallet-friendly option.

“It won’t be the most romantic, but if the food’s good, it’s hard to see how we won’t both go home happy,” the 37-year-old said on Saturday.

“I’m afraid last-minute planning is generally my MO [modus operandi]. I suspect I’m not the only partner who perpetually finds themselves in these situations.”

Hongkongers are set to make the most of the relaxing of social distancing measures when they celebrate Valentine’s Day this year. Although the mask mandate is still in force.

Vendors the Post spoke to said more love birds were celebrating over the weekend and requesting flowers earlier, as the city marks Valentine’s Day for the first time in three years with few pandemic restrictions remaining.

At a florist at the Times Square shopping centre in Causeway Bay, four employees were busy assembling colourful bouquets on Saturday for delivery on Sunday. The tiny shop was surrounded by a dozen bouquets, and the number was growing.

Florists said the tradition of sending bouquets to significant others’ offices was back.

Manager Ada Yeung of Anglo Chinese Florist in Central, which was established in 1946, noted “men always order at the last minute” and while there had been some requests over the weekend, she expected a surge right up to Valentine’s Day.

However, Yeung said she also saw more people celebrating over the weekend and requesting flowers earlier, while traditionally people had wanted to send them on the morning of February 14.

Yeung said she had also noticed a “significant increase” in customers starting new relationships.

“Maybe the end of the pandemic does have an effect on how people feel about relationships too?” she said.

Red roses still topped the list as a “safe choice” for lovers. Some customers in new relationships were splashing out on bespoke items such as 99 roses or dozens of hydrangeas, which can cost upwards of HK$5,000 (US$636), while others were more budget conscious and wanted to carry something small.

On average, budgets per bunch were smaller, Yeung said.

“People are more cautious about spending. They may spend a little more time thinking, but in the end, it is just one big day of the year and as the saying goes, ‘Happy wife, happy life’,” she said.

According to the florist’s website, flowers for Valentine’s Day were priced between HK$880 for an orchid and HK$6,800 for 99 stems of pink and white roses.

Jacqueline Wai, founder of The Floret in Tsim Sha Tsui, said she too was seeing early delivery requests over the weekend.

“Our customers are choosing to go for a larger size and requested early delivery as a surprise for their loved ones,” she said, adding bouquets cost between HK$1,000 and HK$2,000.

Wai said she expected a 30 per cent increase in pre-orders compared with last year, with more arranging for flower deliveries to offices on Tuesday or restaurants and homes over the weekend.
Some Hongkongers plan to make cakes for their loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

Business owner Grace Chiu Sze-nga will hold a Valentine’s Day workshop costing HK$690 on February 13 and 14 on decorating cakes using a Korean flower piping technique.

The 43-year-old former flight attendant started LazyG Cakes, which uses soybean paste from Korea to make intricate flowers and bouquets, in 2021.

Chiu designed the workshop with men in mind, making sure the flowers were simple to make and the cakes small. However, all 10 people who had signed up were women, she said, adding: “So for gentlemen, they will order [a cake]. For ladies they will make it – that is the difference.”

So far, Chiu has had two orders from male customers for cakes priced below HK$1,000, but said she expected more in the coming days, as men typically ordered “at the very last moment”.

“I think tomorrow I will have more and more orders coming,” she said.

Restaurant operators said competition was fierce to entice couples to eat at their establishments after a difficult 2022 for the industry.

Bartlomiej Szyniec, co-founder of the Deadly Rabbits Concepts which owns restaurants Ask for Alonzo and Porkcentric, said both were currently 70 per cent booked for Tuesday, but he expected that to rise to 90 to 100 per cent by Monday.

The menu per couple was priced at HK$688 plus 10 per cent, including a round of drinks.

“All in all with the current economic situation, value for money is the main focus in our segment of the market, people want more for less,” Szyniec said, adding “competition is fierce with operators trying to fill their venues”.

He added: “Everyone hopes that Valentine’s Day will be the beginning of better times for Hong Kong’s F&B industry and the difficult 2022 will be forgotten soon enough.”


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.