More bars serve food instead of alcohol only. It looks weird! What are the reasons behind? Has Pandemic changed the bar scene in Hong Kong?
Recently, more bars serve food and open earlier than usual. Some of them even open for lunch with comfort food, such as burgers or fish and chips. What’s happened?
HK Government has just announced to release the dine-in restriction from 6pm to 9pm. It will start on Friday. That means restaurants can open for dinner. For three hours only. But it’s already a relief for many struggling restaurants.
However, ban on bars and clubs are still in force. Certainly, we have no idea when the government will release the ban. As a result, many bars have already started to find their way out by twisting their business model. Though it looks weird, it’s essential for survival.
More Bars serve food now. Why?
Under the ban, bars have no source of income but need to pay rents and staff salary. Despite the support from the employment scheme, bar operators have no income to pay the rent and the rest of payrolls.
In order to stay afloat, more bars serve food together with alcohol, instead of liquor only. It’s the only way for them to open for business under current restrictions.
That’s why more bars are now opening at noon, which is earlier than their usual operating hours. Also, they provides new food menus. What in menus are simple and easy to cook, such as burgers and finger food. Apparently, they don’t have full kitchen or professional chefs.
Bans on dine-in hours
After the third outbreak of Covid-19, the Government has imposed a series of regulations. Restaurants can serve dine-in customers until 6pm. This restriction will be released to 9pm on 28 August. However, restriction on two persons in one table still remains.
Frankly, the regulation can help to reduce the infections inside eateries. Nevertheless, it has induced substantial financial loss to restaurants. Since dinner revenue constitutes more than half of their income.
Recently, the industry has requested the Government to release the dinner time restriction. No matter whether it’s as short as two or three hours, it will save some F&B operators who are on the edge of collapse.
Can release of ban help?
Yes, it can definitely help! Hong Kong F&B industry have been in double whammy. Many restaurants and bars are hardly hit by social protests and Covid-19 outbreak. Inevitably, its disruption has never happened before.
Although the Government has launched some subsidies to the industry, it can help to stop the bleeding for a while but not for long. Actually, inadequate cash flow has already caused the closure of many restaurants and bars.
In particular, there are no signs that current virus re-surge will disappear soon. The only survival kit is to keep the business with cash flow until the vaccine is ready.