Why Hong Kong Restauranteurs think F&B Will Never be the Same After Coronavirus

Why Hong Kong Restauranteurs think F&B Will Never be the Same After Coronavirus

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

The F&B sector, in all parts of the world, has been battling to stay afloat given the effects that COVID-19 has had on profits. Hong Kong was certainly hit quite hard with some restaurant businesses even claiming a "50 to 70 percent drop in revenue." In recent weeks, though, there has been hope for Hong Kong's restaurant industry. "With the numbers of new cases dwindling in the last two weeks, we have seen a gradual increase in the number of people eating out at restaurants." Unfortunately, thanks to the prevailing "climate of uncertainty, restaurants are [still] facing immense pressure to act quickly and put together various contingency plans." The urgent necessity for solutions to Hong Kong's F&B slump has led to a rise in new ideas, with many businesses turning to delivery technology for the answers they seek. 

Let's examine how three Hong Kong F&B businesses insiders explain their vision of how delivery could be the way forward for Hong Kong's F&B industry. 

Delivery Could Help Restaurants "Survive"

Oli Marlow, executive chef of Roganic says "Restaurants need to adapt to these changing times, including looking into delivery and takeout options, in order to survive." 

He notes that since many hong Kongers have been staying at home due to the virus, the confidence in restaurants and eating out has diminished within the general public. This, in turn, "has put an enormous strain on the industry where restaurants have been fighting to attract the few who are still eating out." In the long run, Marlow says that "we [chefs] have to be more open than ever and put our egos to one side and really open up to all ideas, such as takeaways and more affordable menus. I believe the restaurants that are able to adapt with the times will be the ones who can come out stronger on the other side.”

The Rise of "Delivery-only Restaurants"

Alex Offe, co-founder of Meraki Hospitality believes that “Hong Kong will come out of this situation earlier than other major cities and we’re already starting to feel it." 

Though Offe is optimistic that Hong Kong is on the path to recovery, he does caution that business cannot simply continue as it had done before the virus. He says that "companies will have to re-think their way of running businesses in favour of a more agile and flexible way." His advice for restaurants it that they should expect "an increase in “delivery only” restaurants or ghost kitchens." 

Delivery and Takeaway Specials Necessary to "Stay Afloat"

Camille Glass co-founder of both Brut! and Pondi says “We’ve been tasked with making a choice between keeping our businesses afloat and our staff employed over the health and safety of the general public. It’s been hard, but we’re making it work.

The way Brut! and Pondi have been shifting their business model is by offering lunch and dinner takeaway menus from Tuesday to Sunday. They are also delivering food within their district and “intend on putting a certain percentage of proceeds towards aiding the service industry folk who have lost their jobs or their businesses”.

A New Kind of Delivery Tech is Needed for Hong Kong

While it is clear that many in Hong Kong's F&B industry believe that delivery services will play a major role in the future of the city's food industry, the current delivery options in Hong Kong will need to evolve. Delivery companies are charging merchants hefty fees to use their in-demand services, and this leaves less revenue for struggling F&B businesses. A compromise needs to be reached if delivery technology is going to be widely adopted throughout Hong Kong and serve as the solution that struggling F&B businesses have been seeking. Eats365 is developing something new and exciting that aims to reach this compromise. Be prepared for an exciting new Eats365 service coming soon!

Fine Dining Restaurants in Hong Kong Turn to Delivery
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