BOLSTERED by the government’s distribution of consumption vouchers worth 500 million yuan (US$74.4 million), Shenzhen’s catering businesses reported growth in revenue as residents swarmed to eateries and got busy ordering food online, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily reported yesterday.
The city started handing out digital vouchers and e-CNY coupons in phases via e-commerce platforms April 28. Meituan app’s first two batches of e-vouchers for catering, tourism and sports were snapped up immediately after they were made available.
The consumption stimulus has unleashed market vitality, said the Daily. Liu Jinyu, operations manager of Chaoshan Xi’e Restaurant, told the Daily, “In 2020, our revenues took over three months to reach 80% of pre-pandemic levels; yet it took us just more than one month to get business back to normal this year. With the catering vouchers, our daily turnover growth once reached 75%. This is Shenzhen speed!”
Among catering vouchers worth 60 million yuan, food delivery coupons apply to all eateries across the city, driving substantial growth in catering businesses’ revenues.
Zhao Guangtian, owner of Chuanyue Shudu Spicy Hot Pot Restaurant in Futian District, said they had launched seasonal set meals on food delivery platforms and set up promotional materials at the store for this round of citywide promotional campaign.
“Our business has returned to normal recently. The restaurant had a peak dinner hour on the day the e-vouchers were issued,” Zhao said. A video he took from the store’s closure to its resumption of operation went viral on Weibo as it resonated with many netizens.
Big Plan Grill, a startup community barbeque restaurant in Longgang District, reported a surge of over 40% during the May Day holiday. Chen Jundong, the owner, gave a thumbs-up and said, “With the subsidies offered by the Meituan food delivery platform and government support, we are busy working again.”
Government data showed that Shenzhen’s consumer market raked in over 23 billion yuan in overall consumer spending from April 28 to May 3.
An expert from the China Development Institute expected that the municipal and district government-issued consumption vouchers and subsidies will help improve the consumer market disrupted by COVID-19 pandemic in a short time.
In the long run, Shenzhen needs to hasten fostering a new engine for expanding consumption, as well as leading the synchronized upgrading of demand-side consumption and supply-side industries, the expert said.