Rhys Adams, marketing director of the El Grande restaurant and bar group, is so confident Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah will drop or decrease the wine and beer duty in his budget tomorrow that he's already offering booze discounts at his outlets. A sign was erected at Central's Brew House and the East End Brewery in Quarry Bay to announce they are slashing 15 per cent off wine and 10 per cent off all beer.
Mind you, Mr Adams has no idea whether there'll be a duty reduction, so he's betting some of his profits on it.
'I hope it will encourage the government to reduce the duty,' Mr Adams said. 'There're some people who are against [any cuts], saying the restaurants and bars won't pass the discount on. This is to show them that we're serious and we will pass it on to the customers.' No doubt, at the same time pressuring other watering holes to do the same and entice happy-hour patrons to order an extra round or two.
Of course, Mr Adams might have to eat his own costs if Mr Tsang decides he'd rather put the surplus to other uses. 'I think we will carry on the discount through March [even if there's no duty cut in the budget]. But unfortunately, for business, we won't be able to do it forever.'