Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A restaurant for Mainland tourists only

A restaurant with hundreds of people waiting to enter must be a very very famous place, correct?  Not this one.   

It would have big signs facing the street, advertising the type of cuisine that it serves, special dishes, etc.  Not for this restaurant. 

This one is on the second or third floor of a commercial building in Tsim Sha Tsui East.  A normal restaurant would have prominent signs to help customers from the street to find the restaurant.  Not for this one. 

Inside most restaurants, they have big, mouth watering pictures of seafood, ducks, chicken, and other appetising dishes on the walls, to entice people to open their wallets.  Not this one.  

Instead, there are signs warning you from bagging the leftovers, not to leave the restaurant, where the tour guides should eat, etc. 

It is, of course, a restaurant specially designed to cater for tourist groups from Mainland China.  Local people are not welcome. 

Such is your (our?) Hong Kong. 


YTSL said...

Some tourism officials and industry bigwigs worry about the diminishing number of Mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong (which, more than incidentally, is still pretty sizable). I worry more about the quality of the tourist experience doled out to those Mainland Chinese who visit Hong Kong for leisure purposes.

Surely this also plays a significant part in Hong Kong losing is lustre for Mainland Chinese visitors -- rather than such as the Umbrella Movement which the officials harp way too much about? Also, surely this kind of tourism experience being offered also is so low quality that it will only attract low quality tourists?

Cyiu Chau said...

I have seen a few restaurants in Hung Hom that operate like this in the past. I have even eaten a few times in those places (in Hung Hom) and talked to the shop owners. I noticed it's not that local people are not welcomed at all, it's just that they make more money out of this business model. It is also a somewhat more reliable source of income for them (in short term). Unlike local customers whose business cannot be guaranteed and hence revenue varies day to day, a steady stream of mainland visitors will come and eat almost everyday, as long as they get contracts from the travel agencies.

Now I don't know whether such a business model is sustainable or not, but the fact that restaurants like these exist and managed to survive is a strong piece of evidence that we (still) have a lot of, if not too many, visitors from mainland China on a regular basis. And I feel sad to see our tourism industry becomes overly dull and monotonous. The lack of innovation and creativity is what worries me the most.

StephenC said...

I suspect this one might be a lit different from those you had seen. All its customers enter as a group, one after the other. They were led to their tables. When I walked in, by myself, someone asked me, "Where are you going?" That's not how a normal restaurant welcomes its customers. They were really not expecting that someone other than pre-arranged tour groups would walk in.