FOOD & BEVERAGE | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Restaurant confidence falls amidst COVID-19: report

86% of restaurants are not optimistic for the economy in Q1 2021.

Hong Kong restaurants face struggles into the new year as they rank their satisfaction 5.8 out of 10 in overall business performance for H2 2020, according to a research of delivery service Deliveroo.

For H2 2020, the index showed difficulties for the F&B industry along with increased demand for food delivery.

Over half of restaurants surveyed (52%) saw a decrease or significant decrease in bi-annual turnover, whilst 31% saw a slight increase as compared to H1 2020.

Moreover, nearly three in four (73%) experienced a decrease in dine-in revenue comparing H2 to H1 2020, whilst at the same time, 54% saw an increase in order-out revenue

During the holiday season, restaurants saw a heavy dine-in revenue drop at 48%. However, over one in three restaurants (37%) saw a YoY increase in order-out dining during the same period.

“This has been a heartbreaking situation all around as health and safety remain the primary goal for all of us, and yet we must safeguard the industry. Delivery and take-out have provided a key revenue generator for F&B throughout the pandemic,” Deliveroo Hong Kong general manager Brian Lo said.

These instances have forced nearly one in three restaurants (30%) to lay off staff or institute unpaid leave in H2 2020, with 29% also stating that they plan to do the same in Q1 2021.

As such, 86% or restaurants are not optimistic for the economy in Q1 2021, and 80% aren’t confident about the F&B industry.

“Now is the time for many stakeholders within the Hong Kong community to support our F&B businesses. We have been advocating the government to further help and consider new initiatives that will support restaurant employee protection schemes, as well as a rent reduction for F&B operators,” Lo noted.

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