What's delivery food worth to Hongkongers in a pandemic? 48,000 jobs and HK$8 billion in revenue, according to a new study.
That study was released today by Deliveroo Hong Kong, who cited independent research from Capital Economics examining the contribution of the industry to Hong Kong's economy over the past nine months. Among the findings: business owners ranked "delivery services like Deliveroo" above loans, tax breaks or any other government support when it came to keeping their businesses afloat.
It has no doubt been a tough year for Hong Kong's food and beverage industry, but the study illuminates just how challenging things have been. Q1 saw a 48% plummet in the industry's gross value, a significant blow relative to the 9% drop in the economy overall. From border closings to government restrictions on capacity and seating, the pandemic brought added difficulties to a sector already hobbled by the social unrest of the previous year.
Hong Kong's restaurants are crucial to the city, both culturally and economically. Accounting for around 300,000 jobs, the industry is responsible for 8% of all employment in the city, and contributes 3.2% of Hong Kong’s gross value.
In spite of the challenges, the report adds that Deliveroo Hong Kong alone supported over 3,500 jobs in the city's restaurant industry this year, a 67% year over year increase compared to 2019. Delivery services are estimated to have contributed HK$8 billion in turnover for partner restaurants.
"While COVID-19 cases have decreased significantly across the city and the region, this report underlines just how important delivery services were to retaining jobs that would otherwise have been lost and maintaining businesses," said Brian Lo, general manager of Deliveroo Hong Kong and board director of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades.
"Restaurants are at the heart of the company - we were born out of a love of restaurants - so we will be by their side throughout this period," he added.
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