Hong Kong restaurant revenues plunge as pandemic activity hits


People dine at tables with partitions inside a restaurant on December 8, 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in Hong Kong. (Reuters photo)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong restaurant revenues fell to a record low last year, dropping 29.4% from 2019, as the Covid-19 pandemic and sweeping social distancing regulations took a devastating impact on the city’s restaurant industry.

The Department of Census and Statistics revealed that overall restaurant receipts for 2020 declined to HK $ 79.4 billion (baht 308 billion), from HK $ 112.5 billion in 2019.

In the fourth quarter, restaurant profits plunged 25.1% to HK $ 19.5 billion from HK $ 26 billion in the same period a year ago.

Hong Kong has been hit by four successive waves of Covid-19, which have left restaurants and other businesses in shock as several rounds of social distancing measures have been followed in an attempt to curb the spread of the pandemic.

In December, authorities imposed strict precautionary measures at restaurants, including banning food services after 6 p.m. and limiting the number of customers to two per table, while bars and pubs had to temporarily close.

About 3,000 of Hong Kong’s 16,000 restaurants are believed to be on the verge of closing permanently, with an unknown number having already disappeared.

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