Retailers are optimistic about business over the Lunar New Year, but some restaurant operators are already seeing an impact on bookings from this week's stock market slump. Richard Poon Kuen-fai, chairman of the Association for Hong Kong Catering Services Management, said dinner bookings for last night were down by a quarter. 'Restaurants usually serve two rounds of dinner appointments - one at 6pm and the other at 9pm. But we expect to do only one and a half rounds tonight,' Mr Poon said. Although Lunar New Year dinner gatherings had already been booked, he expected those who had not decided what to eat would choose less expensive dishes. 'Those who chose menus that cost HK$10,000 per table last year will probably order menus that cost only HK$6,000,' he said. 'Some restaurants that put up their prices earlier this year now might have to reduce prices to attract more customers.' Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, doubted the stock market falls would affect bookings over the festive season. 'So far we have not had any cancellations ... as some reservations required deposits,' he said. Dried-seafood retailers were also positive about consumer spending, even though they noticed a dip in sales yesterday. A spokeswoman for Yue Sang Seaproduct said fewer people had shopped for expensive seafood yesterday. 'Some even said their money is stuck in the stock market,' she said. But consumers were still willing to spend for Lunar New Year, she said, with one local customer this month spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Chinese caterpillar fungus. At Yau Lee Seafood, another customer paid HK$300,000 for Chinese caterpillar fungus. Hong Kong Retail Management Association chairman Bankee Kwan Pak-hoo said he had not seen any immediate effects on the retail industry from the market woes.