Eateries plan HK$20m incentive package
Dining out during Lunar New Year may be a rewarding experience in more ways than one, as plans are under way for restaurants to dish out red packets with a total value of more than HK$20 million and goodie bags.
Participating eateries will give away 200,000 red packets containing cash coupons worth HK$20, HK$50 and HK$100 in an effort to boost business, which has been battered by the economic crisis.
The present plans are for the coupons to be valid for a month from February 15 to be redeemed against meals.
About 10,000 'fortune bags' filled with gifts would also be given to customers, the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades said.
'The gifts in the fortune bags will mostly be food such as cooking oil or rice because, as operators of the food and beverage sector, we also want to help our business partners, who are mostly food suppliers,' the federation's president Simon Wong Ka-wo said.
'As the market tends to quieten down after Lunar New Year, we have decided to set the validity period of the coupons after the festival, between mid-February and the end of March.
'We are still collecting views from our members about the campaign, as they are the ones who will be giving out these cash coupons. I believe at least a couple of dozen restaurants will take part in the campaign.'
It is the federation's second attempt to boost business via a mass promotion after a 'HK$1 campaign' held this month.
Mr Wong said the HK$1 campaign - under which more than 100 restaurants, food stores and karaoke establishments took turns to offer items for HK$1 - had proved to be quite successful. 'I think our members and other restaurants will be interested in joining the cash coupon campaign.' Mr Wong stressed that the promotions were not aimed at encouraging overspending.
'We just want to encourage consumers to spend a bit more by introducing promotional activities.'
Efforts to attract diners during the Christmas season paid off and business was better than expected, he said.
'Business did drop by 5 to 10 per cent compared with last year, amid the financial tsunami, but it was better than we expected. We find that there is more human traffic, and also consumers' willingness to spend money is also stronger with the HK$1 dish campaign.
'Many restaurants ... found that consumers did spend money to eat more and buy something else while enjoying the HK$1 offer,' Mr Wong said.
Cash coupons in red packets will be valid for a month, after the Lunar New Year
The coupons may be used for meals of up to, in HK dollars, $100