Festive diners spell boom for restaurants

A bumper Christmas season for local restaurants will see the trade rake in as much as HK$11 billion for December alone, while packed eateries are expected to earn some HK$400 million just on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone – according to the president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, Simon Wong.

Speaking on RTHK’s Backchat programme, Wong said most restaurants are full, while hotel eateries are all fully booked.

“It seems that people, because of the year end, are willing to spend a lot more especially on meals,” he said.

Wong says if things go as he expects, December will be the best month of the year as far as turnover is concerned, and overall, business would have returned to 2018 levels after plunging by around 30 percent last year.

Things are so busy, he said, that many restaurants are scrambling to hire temporary staff to handle the surge in business, pushing hourly salaries for workers to up to HK$120.

Wong said the cost of shipping food in from across the globe has also risen significantly, pushing overall food prices up by 10 to 15 percent, and menu prices by around a tenth.