Restaurants in Beijing welcome restart of dine-in service after more than one-month COVID suspension
Published: Jun 06, 2022 07:44 PM
Photo: Courtesy of McDonald's China

Photo: Courtesy of McDonald's China

The majority of Beijing's restaurants on Monday welcomed their first guests since dine-in suspension on May 1, as the Chinese capital city eased up virus control measures after the latest wave of local COVID-19 resurgence was brought under firm control. 

Restaurants and cafés in Beijing except in southern Fengtai district and northern Changping district resumed dine-in services on the first day after the Dragon Boat Festival holidays.

A representative of Starbucks told the Global Times on Monday that its outlets across the city witnessed significantly more guests on Monday.

McDonald's China office told the Global Times that it is still maintaining quarantine-related procedures to ensure the safety of delivery couriers and dine-in guests. The chain's restaurants continue to provide "contactless delivery" and "contactless meal pick-up" services.

Yum China Holdings, operator of KFC and Pizza Hut in China, told the Global Times on Monday that KFC stores in Beijing will launch a discount chicken wing bucket to celebrate the return to normal services.

During the lunch break on Monday, dine-in guests were seen in most restaurants in Taikoo-Li mall in Sanlitun, downtown Beijing, but fewer than before the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Some small restaurants or restaurants near residential communities said their business had recovered well. 

"Our business is going well, but it has not fully recovered because today is the first working day after the holidays," said a staffer at a noodle restaurant, adding that current guest volume is kept at 70 percent of the normal level. 

An employee at a hot pot restaurant in Chaoyang district said that it would take around one hour to get a table for two people, but many customers were waiting outside.  

As the COVID-19 flare-up is brought under control, Beijing authorities announced work resumption strategies for retail, entertainment and catering services starting on May 29. 

Zhou Cong, who is from the publicity department of Inner Mongolia Xibei Restaurant Group, told the Global Times on Monday that the guests at the food group's outlets in Beijing definitely rose. 

"We are happy to see the resumption of business in Shanghai and Beijing due to controlled epidemic situation, and I'm confident about the resumption of our operations," said Zhou.

Data from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Statistics showed that due to the coronavirus resurgence, total consumption value of the catering sector in Beijing was 35.2 billion yuan ($5.30 billion) in the first quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 1.2 percent.