Government Should Offer Support Amid Virus Crisis: Tedd Park

By Matthew Bossons

This article is a part of our Appetite for Destruction feature, a series of interviews conducted by Thats staff to examine the impact of the novel coronavirus on Chinas food and beverage industry. 

Tedd Park Shanghai

General Manager at JUJU

Originally hailing from the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula, Tedd Park has spent the past decade in China and has worked in prestigious restaurants in both Shanghai and Guangzhou. Here, Park shares his thoughts on the impact the novel coronavirus is having on the Shanghai F&B scene:

What measures has your business taken to mitigate the damage caused by the prolonged CNY holiday and the ongoing coronavirus outbreak?

Up until now, theres not much we can do but pray, since we dont [plan to] open until February 10. We are preparing training about the coronavirus for staff and have prepared masks, disposable cutlery and sanitizer for guests to make them feel safe and comfortable when they come to our restaurant. [Weve also implemented] some attractive promotions as well.

Have you experienced similar challenges previously, while working in the F&B industry?

Ive seen MERS in Seoul and several unpleasant accidents for the F&B industry in Shanghai. Ive also been through extreme weather seasons in different cities in China, but I dont think I can say it compares. This is because, when these things happened, usually people were still in town, so they still needed to find a place to go for a meal. This time, people were already away for Chinese New Year, so they are not coming back.

Do you think the outbreak, containment measures and prolonged holiday will result in lasting damage to the F&B scene in Shanghai?

For sure, through this dark age some will make it and some wont, because of rent and labor costs. I think there should be some support, either from the government or the landlords. The F&B industry will need a lot of support.

Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

For more articles in our Appetite for Destruction series, scan the QR code below.

[Cover image via Tedd Park]

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