This article is a part of our Appetite for Destruction feature, a series of interviews conducted by That’s staff to examine the impact of the novel coronavirus on China’s food and beverage industry. For more articles from this series, click here.
Tedd Park – Shanghai
General Manager at JUJU
Originally hailing from the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula, Tedd Park has spent the past decade in China and has worked in prestigious restaurants in both Shanghai and Guangzhou. Here, Park shares his thoughts on the impact the novel coronavirus is having on the Shanghai F&B scene:
What measures has your business taken to mitigate the damage caused by the prolonged CNY holiday and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak?
Up until now, there’s not much we can do but pray, since we don’t open until February 10. We are preparing training about the coronavirus for staff and have prepared masks, disposable cutlery and sanitizer for guests to make them feel safe and comfortable when they come to our restaurant. [We’ve also implemented] some attractive promotions as well.
Have you experienced similar challenges previously, while working in the F&B industry?
I’ve seen MERS in Seoul and several unpleasant accidents for the F&B industry in Shanghai. I’ve also been through extreme weather seasons in different cities in China, but I don’t think I can say it compares. This is because, when these things happened, usually people were still in town, so they still needed to find a place to go for a meal. This time, people were already away for Chinese New Year, so they are not coming back.
Do you think the outbreak, containment measures and prolonged holiday will result in lasting damage to the F&B scene in Shanghai?
For sure, through this dark age some will make it and some won’t, because of rent and labor costs. I think there should be some support, either from the government or the landlords. The F&B industry will need a lot of support.
Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.
[Cover image via Tedd Park]