It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, but we are settling in to our new “normal” now — if normal exists anymore. A day feels like a week; a week feels like a month. Each hour we are adjusting to new information, just like all of you. COVID-19 is a sobering reality for individuals, communities, and businesses around the globe.
How COVID-19 is impacting Canadian restaurants
It goes without saying that every business owner is doing their best to adjust to this unprecedented situation, and we are no different. By government mandate, Toronto restaurants have closed dining room operations, and only a small fraction continue to operate on take-out and delivery service. Already almost one in ten restaurants in Canada have permanently closed their doors, with up to 18% more predicted to close within a month if the current situation continues. We hope that by leveraging our online ordering app, our connections to the communities we serve, and the dedication of our team, we can continue to serve Chinese take-out to Toronto and beyond. We hope to see many other independently owned and operated restaurants weather this storm as well, but we know this industry is fragile.
Restaurants operate on notoriously slim margins and maintain high operating costs like rent, utilities, equipment, and food supplies. With dining rooms closed, owners have had to decide whether they should continue to operate on an even tighter-than-usual budget, or temporarily shut-down in a bid to drastically reduce expenses while waiting for the situation to change. However, with no income for even a few weeks, a restaurant is unlikely to open its doors again. As restaurant legend David Chang said in an interview with the New York Times:
“I do not want to incite panic and hysteria, but I think for restaurants and the service industry, there is going to be a morbidly high business death rate. My fear is the restaurants that survive are going to be the big chains, and we’re going to eradicate the very eclectic mix that makes… going out to eat so vibrant and great.”
What’s Happening at Hong Shing
All of our operations now focus solely on take-out and delivery service. We’ve changed everything from our dining room layout to our own job descriptions in an effort to bring the food to you, safely and efficiently. If you haven’t seen our Instagram posts yet, we have expanded our delivery zone by offering daily pop-ups in neighbourhoods all around Toronto. Order online to see a full schedule of daily pop-ups.
Yes, we are doing everything we can to maintain operations through this pandemic — not just for the livelihood of Hong Shing, but also to support our broader community through this difficult time. The health and economic crisis we are facing is monumental, and we all need to work together to overcome it It’s difficult to sacrifice many of the freedoms we usually enjoy — like moving freely through the city and gathering with friends and family. Delivering food to you is just one small way we can help boost morale and keep you fed at home. We all have a part to play.
And most of all, stay safe!