Hotpot restaurant hosts just one diner during dinner rush, viral photo sparks business closure concerns


15th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) IImages circulating on social media show an eerily empty restaurant during what should be a busy dinner hour, highlighting the struggles local businesses face as residents choose to travel north or vacation abroad.

A post from a concerned citizen in a Facebook group dedicated to Hong Kong’s dining scene shows the individual dining alone at 6.30pm, with not a single other customer in sight. This snapshot of solitude at what is traditionally a communal dining experience speaks volumes about the current state of consumer confidence and local spending habits.

The image sparked a flurry of online discussion, with netizens expressing shock and humour at the situation. Comments ranged from jovial remarks about having a “private dining experience” to more serious concerns about a looming wave of closures in the industry. “Seeing this is actually quite sad,” one commenter noted, reflecting a sentiment of worry that pervades much of the conversation around the topic.

Despite the stark imagery, some community members urged caution, suggesting that the photograph might not fully represent the situation, as it captured only one angle of the restaurant. Others pointed out that many Hong Kong residents typically dine later in the evening, suggesting that a 6.30pm snapshot might not accurately capture peak hours.