(Yicai Global) June 2 -- Shanghai’s Western restaurants are dusting off the cobwebs after two months of lockdown and waiting for permission from authorities to throw open their doors again. For the moment, many have restarted takeaway services although their revenue from online orders is not high.
Roberto, from Italy, is back at his small Italian restaurant in Shanghai’s central Jing’an Temple area preparing to reopen after two months of being shuttered.
“I’m excited now because it’s all back on track. I've always trusted Shanghai, and I think business will perhaps be better than it was before the pandemic,” Roberto said. We are hoping to open in a few days’ time, depending on when we get approval from the health regulator. Most suppliers are across town in Pudong district and although deliveries are still not smooth, they should get back to normal soon, he added.
Nicolas le Bec, who runs well-known French restaurant Villa le Bec on Xinhua road and several other eateries, will start take away services at his smaller restaurant Le Bec 62 today, he told Yicai Global. When Villa le Bec will open again depends on when he gets the nod from authorities.
The cosmopolitan city of Shanghai has the most Western restaurants of any Chinese city. But such eateries rely on dine-ins for much of their income as only 10 percent of their turnover comes from takeaways.
Spanish restaurant chain Brownstone, which has nine outlets in the city, is only offering take-aways at present, chef Aitor told Yicai Global. The company did not cut his salary during the lockdown and he used the time to do some livestreaming from home for the restaurant and developed new dishes, he said. We hope to reopen for dine-ins as soon as possible as the income from takeouts alone is far from enough.
The Lujiazui financial hub is already allowing restaurants to apply for dine-in services, an investor in a number of high-end eateries told Yicai Global.
Zee, from Spain, owns an avocado drink shop in downtown Huangpu district. “Our store reopened yesterday and over half the employees returned to work,” Zee said. We have been an avocado supplier to restaurants in Shanghai for many years and this outlet is mainly to expand our customer base, she said. During the lockdown, not only did we lose out financially, but we also lost clients. We will focus more on online sales after reopening, she added.
US fast food chain Burger King struggled with logistics during the outbreaks. “Our distribution warehouse for eastern China is in Shanghai. The warehouse was shut during lockdown, so the nearly 20 restaurants that resumed operations in mid-May had to get their ingredients from the Wuhan warehouse, which involved higher transportation and labor costs,” a staff member said.
Editor: Kim Taylor