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Online move limits damage to Cafe de Coral Group’s sales

Listed Hong Kong restaurant and catering operator Cafe de Coral Group managed to minimise the impact on sales during Covid-19 social-distancing restrictions by expanding its online and delivery operations. 

The company operates the Cafe de Coral fast food and Super Super Congee & Noodles QSR chains, along with the casual-dining restaurants Shanghai Lao Lao, Mixian Sense (pictured above),The Spaghetti House and Oliver’s Super Sandwiches. 

Sales for the year to March 31 decreased by a modest 6.2 per cent to US$1.03 billion, with the Hong Kong casual-dining business taking the biggest hit, down 14 per cent. Overall Hong Kong sales fell by 6.4 per cent and Mainland China sales by 6.2 per cent. 

Profit attributable to shareholders for the year plunged 87.1 per cent $9.5 million. 

Chairman Sunny Lo Hoi Kwong says the coronavirus outbreak will force a re-shuffle of the way businesses operate as they adapt to the new market landscape.

“Once the pandemic is under control, I believe Hong Kong – and the world as a whole – will need to adapt to a new business paradigm.”

Cafe de Coral Group addressed some of the decline in dine-in sales by measures such as introducing self-service ordering kiosks in stores and increasing its emphasis on online ordering and home-delivery services.

“At the same time, we are making internal adjustments to our operations by fine-tuning dishes and updating menus to optimise meals for delivery. Anticipating a shift from in-restaurant dining to a broader mix of in-store and delivery options, our focus on technology, efficiency and cost effectiveness will only intensify going forward,” he said. The company also partnered with home-delivery apps. 

Cafe de Coral Group has also been reviewing lease agreements with landlords to reduce overheads. “With the group’s strong, 50-year reputation and our position as one of Hong Kong’s leading listed catering groups, landlords have been quite willing to work with us,” he said. 

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