Big Spending Followed SARS, Stay Optimistic: Guangzhou's Wayne Shen

By Matthew Bossons, February 8, 2020

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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.

Wayne Shen – Guangzhou

General Manager at Bravo Brewpub & Kitchen

If you live in Guangzhou and enjoy craft beer, chances are you are familiar with Bravo Brewpub & Kitchen, a haven to small batch suds and quality pub grub headed by Guangzhouer Wayne Shen. Below, Shen shares his thoughts on the impact the novel coronavirus is having on the F&B scene in Guangzhou:

How has the novel coronavirus impacted Bravo?
The outbreak is unexpected. We had even planned to open the shop during Chinese New Year, but now everything has had to change. Staff must stay at home and transportation in Guangzhou is limited. The food and beverages that were ready for holiday operations have been kept in fridge for long time and will be waste after [this is all over]. But, most important, is the issue of safety: Customers are reluctant to go outside, so many F&B businesses are only offering takeout services.

What measures has your business taken to mitigate the damage caused by the prolonged CNY holiday and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak?
Honestly, we can do nothing but wait for the outbreak to be finished. Our landlord has agreed to deduct part of the rent to help us survive during this time. Normally, Q1 is a relatively slow period for F&B businesses, so we will use this time to revise our internal operation system and optimize every aspect of our service procedures and the overall operation. Moreover, we will try our best to keep our staff from leaving.

How long do you think it will take for your business to recover from this situation?
Looking back at SARS in 2003, once the outbreak finished, it was followed by a significant increase in spending within a few months. Therefore, we should keep optimistic.

What could be the possible positive outcomes of this disease outbreak for Guangzhou’s F&B industry?
The positive outcome is that owners and staff in this industry can take a long break with their family, because many of them must work 365 days per year.

Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

For regular updates on the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, click here. For more articles in our Appetite for Destruction series, click here.

[Cover image via Wayne Shen]

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