Date
16 December 2017
Recognition from the Michelin Guide has brought fame as well pain to some eateries in Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Recognition from the Michelin Guide has brought fame as well pain to some eateries in Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Rental hikes hit eateries honored by Michelin Guide

The Michelin Guide has brought fame to a few Hong Kong restaurants but it has also caused some pain as listings in the renowned annual guide book has led to higher store rental costs.

Two local-delicacies vendors have faced vigorous hikes in rents after being named in the guide, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Monday.

Tim Ho Wan, a dim-sum specialist, got over 500 of customers in a day after the outlet received a Michelin one-star in 2010, owner Mak Kwai-pui was quoted as saying.

“We only had one 800-square-foot store in Kwong Wa Street back then,” Mak said. “There were just 20 plus seats because half of the store was used as a kitchen.”

Mak then decided to set limited quotas each day and distribute them to customers to deal with the crowd.

Meanwhile, the store saw its rent getting raised to HK$42,000 (US$5,416) the following year from HK$38,000, and further to HK$110,000 in 2013.

Mak now owns outlets in Sham Shui Po, Central, North Point, Tai Kok Tsui and Tseung Kwan O. It plans to open eight to 10 eateries in Taiwan.

A new outlet will debut by the end of this month in Kuala Lumpur, and another two in Melbourne and Sydney early next year.

Hung’s Delicacies, a one-star Michelin restaurant that has been on the guide for five years, had to close in August its store in North Point, where its business thrived, due to high staff turnover rate and increased rental costs, owner Lai Wai-hung said.

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VW/JP/RC

Freelance journalist

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