‘The price of participation’: For Hong Kong restaurants, delivery giants are a double-edged sword

On any given weekday evening, Regan Yeung’s yakitori joint in Central buzzes with the post-work crowd. Diners come to his restaurant for the fresh-off-the-grill skewers and stay for the drinks and banter with friends.

But these are no ordinary times. Since early January, when the Hong Kong government banned dine-in services after 6 p.m. due to a new Covid-19 outbreak, Yeung’s restaurant has been empty for dinner.

A Deliveroo driver in Central. Photo: Hillary Leung/HKFP

Some of his regulars come to buy takeaway, breaking the monotony of the otherwise-quiet restaurant. But most of the traffic – in the loosest sense of the word – is a steady trickle of couriers from delivery giants Foodpanda and Deliveroo.


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