A 12-year veteran of Shanghai's F&B scene, Mike Huang is Senior Vice President of Operations for Topgolf China, and the man behind Lounge by Topgolf, the exciting and unique entertainment destination located in the heart of Shanghai.
Starting again from today, this urban, indoor sports entertainment space combines food, drinks, virtual sports gaming, mini golf and entertainment in one space.
We caught up with him to talk about the lockdown and its impact on Shanghai's F&B scene.
Describe the toll of Shanghai’s citywide lockdown on your venue?
The citywide lockdown has been difficult for our venue and our team. Even prior to the official lockdown on April 1, we were already forced to close because the building we’re in was closed off.
Until today (see below) we were not allowed to have dine-in guests – which has had a massive impact on our venue as it is designed for group gatherings and events.
And what about the effect on you and your staff's mental wellbeing?
The uncertainty, inconsistency and lack of transparency has been extremely frustrating for our team.
During the full lockdown, there were also many concerns on how to get food and basic supplies. Our team stayed in touch with each other and found ways to organize packages of groceries and other essentials sent to each other.
Have you had to let any staff go?
Thankfully, we have not had to do that during this period.
How long do you think it will take the Shanghai F&B industry to recover from the effects of the shutdown?
Unlike the bounce back that we went through in 2020, the situation today will be a rocky and uneasy reopening that will likely continue for the rest of the year.
Although I don’t believe we will have another official full lockdown, the COVID policy still remains stringent – so there will be a lot of uncertainty and caution.
What percentage of restaurants do you think we will see shutter for good?
I wouldn’t be surprised if at least a quarter of the restaurants and venues that we know and love in the city will have to say goodbye.
Have you made any changes to your business model as a result of the recent lockdown?
In the short term, we’ve created more offers for delivery and take away.
At the same time, we’re working with great partners to push out fantastic deals that the community can enjoy once we are back in the full swing of things – just like our offers with That’s Shanghai this summer!
READ MORE: 4 Amazing F&B Deals On Offer Right Now!
Now that the city is opening up, aside from dining-out/ordering takeout, what can customers do to support your venues?
Spread the love – if you’re not ordering or going to the venue, share the posters/promos to your contacts and friends.
Amongst us in the F&B sector, we’re recommending each other’s restaurants, offerings and promos during and post lockdown.
A small share goes a long way for our businesses.
And the good news is...
Lounge by Topgolf is OPEN and FUN is on!
Let’s RePLAY together at Lounge by Topgolf from today, Wednesday, June 29!
Indulge in the Pan-Asian delicacies and pair them with the signature craft cocktails – the perfect combo for an exciting gathering!
The Lounge has also prepared a Welcome Back Special Offer for all dine-in guests – everyone can enjoy FREE mini-golf all day long and 50% off Swing Suites Room Rental Fees in the Lounge till July 31!
Booking: 021 633 57102
Opening Hours: Mon-Thu, 11.30am-10pm; Fri-Sun, 11.30am–12 midnight
Address: Lounge by Topgolf, 2/F, Central Plaza, 227 Huangpi Bei Lu, by Nanjing Xi Lu
Follow the official account to get more special offer information:
[All images via Topgolf]