Chinese catering businesses launch recruitments for festival
Published: Feb 04, 2021 07:38 PM

A Chinese food deliveryman Photo: IC

As a consequence of China's call for people to stay put during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday to reduce the risk of virus spreading, restaurants are finding that they need more helpers to serve people who dine in or order take-out food.

According to online take-out platform, more than 10,000 people have applied for jobs offered by more than 1,200 restaurants across China in the past month. "These restaurants are concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Hanghzhou and Shenzhen. Demand for waiters is the highest among all types of jobs, accounting for nearly 80 percent," told the Global Times, adding that packaging staff and assistant chefs are also needed.

Philip Kuai, founder, chairman and CEO of Dada Group told the Global Times that on-demand delivery platform Dada Now is hiring deliverymen and will reward those who keep working during the Spring Festival. 

Cosmopolitan cities in China may have highest citizen flow rates during this Spring Festival celebration, which will give hard-hit restaurants an opportunity to revive. 

Chain restaurant Nanjing Impressions said at least 80 percent of its 6,000 employees will stay on the job during the holidays. "In previous years, our Chinese New Year's Eve dinner meal was mainly for eight to 12 people, but we are preparing meals for two to four people this year, costing only 398 yuan ($61.6)," Han Yan, marketing director of the restaurant told the Global Times. 

In Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province, Nanjing Impressions said it would prepare 1,200 set meals, ensuring each branch is able to receive more than 100 such orders. 

"The policy calling on people to stay near their workplaces will benefit the catering industry in first- and second-tier cities," Qin Chao, CEO of professional catering publication China Restaurants Insider, told the Global Times, predicting that dining demand will increase during this Spring Festival compared with previous years. 

The catering industry in China, a sector that was hit hard in 2020 by COVID-19, is still waiting for a rebound. The industry's revenue last year was down 16.6 percent year-on-year to 3.95 trillion yuan ($612 billion), according to official data from the National Bureau of Statistics. 

A survey by the China Hospitality Association of some key local catering enterprises found that 78 percent of the respondents reported lower earnings in 2020. 

"Looking ahead into 2021, demand for catering has recovered, with the number of newly opened high-end restaurants increasing and Chinese fast food being more popular compared with Western fast food and Japanese cuisine," Qin noted, adding there won't be a problem for China's catering industry to recover to the pre-COVID level this year.