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With No CNY Reunion Dinners Allowed, Chinese Restaurants Show How They’ve Adapted For MCO

Author’s Blurb: Every Chinese New Year, my household and I might head to our common Chinese and Nyonya eating places for our reunion dinners. Come to consider it, we in any other case by no means actually dine there until it’s CNY or to have fun my grandparents’ birthdays.

With solely 2 to diners allowed per desk, these companies which can be recognized for accommodating giant teams are struggling severely.

Now compelled to innovate their CNY choices, we managed to talk to Oriental Group and Hakka Restaurant to learn the way they’re adapting this MCO.

Up To An 80% Drop In Sales

When the lockdown was first introduced in 2020, Oriental Group was fast to adapt digitally. They developed their very own supply platform that features as an ordering, cost, and supply hub. Additionally, all of their 14 shops are on GrabFood too. 

Despite that, the group informed Vulcan Post that even earlier than the MCO started, they already noticed a big discount in income since CNY 2020. This was compared to 2019’s numbers.

“In 2019, CNY sales (which lasted 30 days) contributed approximately 19% of our yearly earnings. It comprised reunion crowds for annual dinners of both festive and social events,” mentioned Lyn, who’s from the group’s advertising and PR division. 

The similar may very well be mentioned for 6-decade-old Hakka Restaurant. Located smack within the coronary heart of KL’s Golden Triangle, the restaurant might seat lots of of diners at a time pre-pandemic.

Hakka Restaurant might accommodate 400 pax inside their restaurant and 300 exterior pre-social distancing / Image Credit: Hakka Restaurant

Its third era proprietor and director, Danny Chong, informed Vulcan Post that the lockdowns and lack of vacationers have drastically affected enterprise.

With restrictions on the variety of pax per desk, many selected to not dine in our eating places, particularly as a result of Chinese meals is greatest eaten in a gaggle at a spherical desk to feast on all kinds of dishes.

Danny Chong, proprietor and director of Hakka Restaurant.

Being a smaller enterprise in comparison with Oriental Group, providing deliveries by means of DeliverEats and takeaways by means of their social media was all they may do.

Even with CNY packages this yr, Hakka Restaurant nonetheless suffered an 80% drop in takings as of February 11, 2021. This was juxtaposed with a single day of CNY reunion dinners pre-MCO, which contributed to 1% of their complete yearly earnings. 

Packing Up The Platters

Oriental Group’s adorned CNY dishes / Image Credit: Oriental Group

But adapting to takeaways and deliveries additionally correlates to further work for kitchen employees and the entrance of home. 

Takeaway operations require a special job scope as a lot consideration and care must be put in the direction of meals dealing with and packaging. It then comes right down to logistics and guaranteeing that clients obtain their orders in its greatest type. 

“We had to market ourselves differently: that our cuisine is also takeaway friendly as our core business has always been centred around dine-ins due to the nature of our diverse menu,” mentioned Lyn. 

Hence, Oriental Group put forth their CNY set menus that might cater to 2-10 pax in a family. For these dwelling away from household, they’re providing particular person dim sum bento packing containers (RM38/RM88) and reward packages as seasonal gadgets. 

For simplicity, they’ve a bundle set that features the basic Yee Sang, Radish Cake and Nian Gao that are available in a branded hotter bag (RM398). 

They can serve between 2-10 pax / Image Credit: Oriental Group

Hakka Restaurant in the meantime has arrange 4 CNY packages that are available in 4-5 programs. They function conventional celebratory dishes to feed 4-8 pax, starting from RM168 to RM538.

Chinese delicacies has some of the intensive menus within the F&B business with distinctive service requirements. During the pandemic’s inevitable circumstances, the groups needed to be versatile in executing new duties to optimise takeaway requirements. 

Meticulous coaching, schooling, and R&D had been employed amongst kitchen crews and entrance of homes, all to make sure their new regular nonetheless matched the standard of their dine-in providers. 

Hakka Restaurant’s dishes from their set menus / Image Credit: Hakka Restaurant

However, what Chinese eating places would possibly battle with is in convincing Malaysians to buy their CNY packages within the first place. For some households (together with mine), the cost-effective method is to DIY. 

For instance, you may buy pre-packed Yee Sang packing containers for beneath RM40 as a base and add your personal proteins like salmon. This can already feed as much as 10 pax.

When it involves the standard Poon Choy, there are inexpensive canned abalones and mushrooms offered at grocery shops too.

Of course, not everyone seems to be prepared to place within the effort of establishing a feast for the household although. This is the place the eating places’ CNY packages would come in useful for a fast, stress-free house reunion dinner.


Oriental Group and Hakka Restaurant are simply 2 of many Chinese eating places struggling this CNY. Those of us who can afford to assist native F&B eating places can take into account doing so, as a way to make sure that our favorite locations stay open for subsequent yr’s CNY reunion dinners and extra.

By then, we at Vulcan Post are hoping that the pandemic can be a factor of the previous too.

Lyn concluded, “No industry is spared by this pandemic and there is no foreseeable timeframe of its end—every business is fighting for survival and for the livelihoods of those who are on their payrolls. Unity is the key to economic survival.” 

Bottom Line: Although 2 seater dine-ins are allowed once more, it’s a very long time coming earlier than the F&B business recovers and reaches its pre-pandemic numbers once more. With WFH serving to us minimize prices on meals and different providers, we are able to periodically help to our native companies, regardless of the business.

  • You can be taught extra about Oriental Group right here, and Hakka Restaurant right here.
  • You can examine different MCO associated subjects right here.

Featured Image Credit: Oriental Group / Hakka Restaurant

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