Taiwan's catering firms report slump in business amid epidemic

TAIPEI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The revenues of catering businesses in Taiwan decreased 15.3 percent year on year to 70.2 billion new Taiwan dollars (2.52 billion U.S. dollars) in January, according to the island’s economic affairs department.

The department attributed the slump in the catering sector to the impact of the surging COVID-19 epidemic in winter.

Many celebrations and dinners before the Spring Festival holiday were canceled in the wake of the epidemic, causing the revenues of restaurants to drop by 16.2 percent year on year in January, the department said in a statement earlier this week.

Catering companies, such as those serving flight passengers and tourist groups, also saw their revenues in January decrease 23.5 percent year on year, due to strict border control policies, the department said.

Businesses in communities that heavily depended on international tourists suffered the most under the epidemic. According to the Taipei Dongmen Yongkang Business Circle Development Association, a total of 45 businesses, including several popular restaurants, have closed down in the area since March last year, because of the effect of the COVID-19 epidemic.

A night market in New Taipei City also shut down recently after two years of operations.

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