China Overseas Chinese Network, July 22, compiled overseas Chinese media reports that due to the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, many overseas Chinese food companies temporarily closed their stores and can only make a living by selling them. With the opening of outdoor dining plans in some cities, more and more Chinese restaurants are trying to go outdoors to operate "open-air food stalls", Hong Kong-style morning tea, hot and spicy Sichuan cuisine, special hot pot, night market barbecue... The beginning of Chinatown, which is depressed by the epidemic Regain the fireworks.
On the evening of July 18th, Canada time, a Chinese restaurant opened an open-air food stall in Markham, a Chinese-inhabited area in the Greater Toronto Area. There were not only barbecue beer, but also band performances. Photo by China News Agency reporter Yu Ruidong
Helping the recovery of catering, open outdoor dining in many cities
Recently, some blocks in New York, San Francisco, Boston and other cities in the United States have opened outdoor dining. San Francisco’s Chinatown Duban Street will be "transformed" into a food pedestrian street every weekend starting on July 20. Temporary traffic control has been implemented in three blocks, allowing restaurants to set tables. The chairs are placed on the road to receive guests in the form of "food stalls".
Kangnian Seafood Restaurant, East Asian Bakery, Baohan Restaurant, Wanshou Palace and other restaurants have set up large sun umbrellas, set up seats and stalls to welcome citizens and tourists, and Xinxingxiang Restaurant also specially produced 17 authentic Beijing dishes. The door and the characteristic terrace bar also attracted many diners.
The City of Toronto in Canada launched the CafeTO plan. From July 1st, restaurants can open open-air dining areas on sidewalks, slow lanes and parking lots. At present, 700 restaurants have applied for outdoor operations, of which 550 have been approved.
In Markham, a Chinese-inhabited area in the Greater Toronto Area, a Chinese restaurant opened an open-air food stall. Not only barbecue beer, but also band performances, attracted many diners.
In Milan, Italy, the government introduced regional regulations to allow businesses to put tables and chairs outside the store, or even occupy the road, without paying the "public area occupancy fee." The Panama City Council, the capital of Panama, recently passed a decree to decide to exempt restaurants in the jurisdiction. Collect fees for occupancy of outdoor public space, and encourage restaurants to operate outdoors.
On May 29, local time, Washington, the capital of the United States, began to gradually lift the "home order" and entered the first phase of the restart. The picture shows the street view of Chinatown in downtown Washington. Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Mengtong
Business is busy, and the roadside eats "good food"
Flushing, a Chinese settlement in New York, recently eased restrictions and allowed restaurants to open for outdoor dining in the second phase of the economic restart. Chuanshanjia, a specialty of Sichuan cuisine, was one of the first stores to launch an outdoor dining area.
"Chuan Shan Jia" has made sufficient preparations for outdoor dining. Manager Xu Li said, "First of all, make sure to keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet between each table. The restaurant also prepares an electronic menu, so customers can scan the code and order to avoid Contact; the outdoor dining area is equipped with umbrellas, plants and green belts to provide a comfortable dining environment as much as possible."
Disinfection and sanitation are not to be ignored. Xu Li introduced that all tableware is sterilized at high temperature and taken out of the sterilization cabinet after the guests are seated. "The attendance rate is higher than expected, and guests generally report that outdoor dining is fresh and special."
Nearly two weeks after the launch of the "outdoor restaurant" program on Bessebel Avenue in Queens, New York, Nippon Cha's clerk Qiao An said that business has recovered 50%. "It rained last Saturday and the outdoor restaurant was still full. I was busy from 12 noon to 8 pm, and the guests who dine outdoors would still tip 5% more."
The "Yiding Pot" on Bessebel Avenue has also revived with the outdoor restaurant. Manager Wang Haofi said that the expenditure of outdoor restaurants is not small. A plant to be placed costs US$800, and umbrellas and rental tables and chairs cost about US$10,000.
Since the outdoor street can only accommodate four tables and chairs, only 20% of the customers will return even if it is full. However, Wang Haofi said that she was pleased to be able to serve customers face-to-face, and seeing Bell Avenue re-lively gave her confidence in the future .
On July 12, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which went out of business due to the outbreak, was allowed to reopen. The picture shows local Malaysian tourists taking selfies in Petaling Street. Photo by China News Agency reporter Chen Yue
Factors such as the cost of "going outdoors" need to be considered
The opening of outdoor dining in some cities is aimed at restoring consumers' confidence in eating out and bringing the catering industry back to life. As for how this can help Chinese restaurants to increase revenue, multiple factors need to be considered.
“I don’t think that outdoor dining can bring about fundamental changes. Chinatown’s business decline is because people are afraid of the epidemic, but it’s not that safe to eat outdoors.” said Kai Wei, the owner of "Yidian Silk Road" in Oakland, China. The sidewalks of the port are narrow and frequent people pass by. There may be physical contact, but it is even more unsafe.
The owner of the "Xinxing Roast" restaurant in Chinatown, Auckland, is also not optimistic about outdoor dining. He calculated a bill, "Because we can't block pedestrians, we can only put up to 10 seats. For new hires, the profit from outdoor dining may not be as expensive as the recruitment cost, and the gains outweigh the losses."
Chen Yongyi, president of the Canadian Chinese Restaurant Association of Ontario, also believes that even if the City of Toronto expands the scope of outdoor dining in restaurants, bars, and outdoor cafes in the city, it will still provide limited help to Chinese restaurants. "In addition to operating costs, weather and other factors, restaurant owners need to take into account issues such as insurance and hygiene when setting up outdoor dining areas."
He said that Chinese and Western food cultures are different. Western restaurant customers are accustomed to dining at outdoor tables, but Chinese restaurants do not have such a tradition. The first attempt must seriously consider how to meet the government's health standards and pay attention to the scope of commercial insurance.
In Chen Yongyi's view, it is most important to restore consumer confidence in order to allow citizens to go out for consumption. This will take time. Only when the epidemic situation has completely stabilized can it slowly recover. (Author: Wu Kan)