Families fill restaurants despite plea to keep low profile

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Restaurants were packed with families celebrating Father’s Day yesterday, despite the Government appealing to people to reduce inter-family gatherings after the number of Covid cases rose in recent days.

A restaurant in Mong Kok was full in the morning and lunch hours as many customers had yum cha with their dads.

The restaurant’s deputy general manager, William So Man-shing, said breakfast and lunch activities were just as brisk as on normal weekends – although there were more children due to the special day.

He said customers have not canceled dinner reservations due to the rise in Covid cases in recent days.

But he added: “Dinner reservations weren’t as good as in previous years as students have to take a Covid test every day before going to school and tomorrow is a Monday, a school day. school.”

A father who had yum cha with his son said he was happy to see that the whole family could celebrate Father’s Day together.

“I’m not worried about the outbreak. We’re ready because we’ve all taken three shots,” the man said.

Another father said he only ate lunch in a restaurant and the family ate dinner at home.

“I’m afraid this is like the fifth wave of the pandemic – when we were afraid to go out. We’ll be careful and leave the restaurant immediately after we finish our meal,” he said.

Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Allied Trades chairman Simon Wong Ka-wo said the dinner reservation rate hit 80-90% yesterday.

But the business was still 30% off as the economy was weak and large families celebrated at home as restaurants could only have eight diners per table.

“I think this year the restaurants would generate about HK$300 million in revenue, Wong said.

Meanwhile, 15 malls under Sun Hung Kai Properties – including apm in Kwun Tong, Tai Po Mega Mall, Yuen Long Plaza, New Jade Shopping Arcade in Chai Wan and Metropolis Plaza in Sheung Shui – saw a 20% increase customer flow and activity over Father’s Day weekend compared to last month.

SHKP executive director Maureen Fung Sau-yim said local restaurants in malls had two or three more rounds of business while customers ordered a few more expensive dishes to celebrate Father’s Day, which has encouraged restaurant activity to increase by 20 to 30%.

“Stores selling sportswear such as sneakers and hiking gear, electronics such as electric shavers, smart phones and massage guns have seen their sales increase by 10-20% because they are gifts popular on Father’s Day,” Fung said.

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