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China Food Exhibition|What Hong Kong’s dining scene will look like in 2024

2024.04.17

According to China Food Exhibition, Hong Kong’s food and beverage industry has undergone significant changes and evolution due to the pandemic and the recent reopening of the city to the world. The influx of tourists, combined with periods of economic recessions, has posed both hurdles and triumphs for local restaurants. Looking ahead to the year 2024, the landscape of dining is expected to undergo more transformations. We asked Hong Kong’s talented chefs and food specialists what dining trends they think will be big in 2024 – and this is what they had to say.

 

Increase in Gen Z and Mainland Chinese consumers

 

When Hong Kong opened the borders in February, tourists from countries all over the world visited Hong Kong, and the country with the highest number of visitors came from mainland China. According to data collected by the Hong Kong Tourism Board, as of October 2023, a total of 21.3 million tourists from the mainland visited the city this year. And the influx of visitors from the mainland is also evident in the dining scene.

 

Chef Olivier Elzer of Clarence, points out that “we have observed a significant decrease in our expatriate clientele, many of whom left Hong Kong during the pandemic. In contrast, there has been an increase in the number of Mainland Chinese customers.” He adds, “this change in the demographic makeup of our clientele has prompted us to pay closer attention to their preferences and tailor our offerings accordingly.”

 

Echoing this point, Tony Ferreira, head of Culinary Operations at Black Sheep Restaurants (proprietor of Magistracy Dining Room, New Punjab Club, Carbone, and others) mentions that with this new set of customers “our focus has been on building connections and friendships, plus enhancing our offerings, from menus to service to social media, to meet their hospitality needs.”

 

In addition to mainland Chinese diners, another emerging consumer group consists of  younger diners, specifically those belonging to Gen Z. These digital natives are a food-obsessed generation. Now that they're entering the workforce and have some cash to spend, they are devoting a sizable share of their money to food and beverages. “The expectations of a younger clientele are much more experiential,” shares chef Richard Ekkebus, director of Culinary Operations and Food & Beverage at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. “They do not necessarily want to sit for four hours at a table. So we have to continue creating unique experiences that are appealing and Instagram-worthy,” he adds.

 

Conscious spending

 

Covid-19 has transformed consumer spending habits, and that includes shopping mindfully and remaining value-conscious when dining out, which is affecting restaurants, particularly those in the luxury dining sector. According to Rosewood Hong Kong’s director of Food and Beverage, Andrew Yang, “Hong Kong's F&B industry has adapted to cater to newer crowds by offering affordable prices and introducing storytelling menus with great presentations, and warm, genuine service.”

 

Chef Alvin Leung, aka the Demon Chef and chef-proprietor of Bo Innovation and Cafe Bau, points out that they have adjusted their business operations to cater to the consumer’s changing expectations. Bo Innovation’s Arts of Asia menu offers one of the most accessible options among Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, featuring a 10-course tasting menu at $900 per person for groups of four or more.

 

China Food Exhibition learned that Chef Manav Tuli of recently opened Indian restaurant Leela has also observed that his guests have been price sensitive. “Keeping this in mind, we have kept our prices reasonable and approachable,” he shares. By running lean yet highly efficient operations, chef Manav says they're able to keep the prices well within reach.

Asia's Largest Food and Beverage Trade Fair

5,000+ Exhibitors From   70+ Countries & Regions
350,000 Exhibits   10 Forums   9 Events & Competitions

Onsite Tickets Will Be Priced At USD30