(Yicai Global) Dec. 29 -- M on the Bund, the first Western restaurant to open on Shanghai’s landmark Bund promenade back in 1999, is shutting its doors for good after intense competition, pandemic eating-out restrictions, and a failure to keep up with the times pushed it out of business.
M on the Bund, located on the top floor of No. 5 on the Bund with an iconic view of the city's financial hub Lujiazui across the Huangpu River, will retire from Shanghai’s dining scene when its lease expires on Feb. 15 next year, the restaurant said. The chain’s outlets in Hong Kong and Beijing closed in 2009 and 2017 respectively.
Founded by Australian businesswoman Michelle Garnaut at a time when Shanghai did not have many fine dining restaurants and the Bund had not yet started its modern makeover, M on the Bund quickly became very popular. The adjoining Glam Bar was added in 2001, cementing the brand’s position in the city’s raucous nightlife.
Although it will be missed by old-timers, netizens say that the 20-year-old restaurant failed to keep up with the times, did not update its menu and fell behind its competitors in terms of marketing and service.
There is fierce competition in the catering industry, especially from standardized chains, industry insiders said. Also, creative dishes, fusion dishes and new dishes are more popular among young consumers.
Over one million restaurants shuttered this year, including 400,000 fast-food restaurants, 350,000 teashops, and nearly 100,000 hotpot outlets, according to incomplete data from Qichacha.
Editor: Kim Taylor