Fragrant Valentine's Day to bring business blossom

Hong Kong is hopefully awaiting a business income spike on Valentine's Day across catering, wholesaling, and floral products with most Covid-19 curbs in the city scrapped out, said industry veterans.

"I estimate the turnover back to 85 to 90 percent of what it was before the pandemic and to reach HK$350 million on Valentine's Day," said Simon Wong Ka-wo, president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades.

"Our 10 tables have all been reserved for Valentine's Day," said Lok Kwan-ping, a manager of a restaurant featuring French cuisine in North Point, "the overall income may increase by 20 percent compared to the Christmas holiday.

"There were plenty of customers who ordered bouquets for their beloved people from last week," said an employee from a flower store in Mongkok's Flower Market Street, "we have received around 500 orders and mostly for bouquets priced from HK$800 to HK$1,000."

She added the shop would not increase the price of flowers, citing the economy has yet to fully recover.

A floral shop owner said his business income has recorded about 30 percent higher than last year. But the florist will not raise the price even though the cost of imported flowers increased by about 20 percent this year.

"More mainland arrivals are coming to Hong Kong to buy flowers with the relaxation of social distance measures and the reopening of borders," he said.

"Many would like to save it until the last minute," said Sunny Lai Wing-chun, chairman of the Hong Kong Wholesale Florist Association, "the turnover of flower orders are currently at around 80 percent of pre-pandemic. I believe it will be better on Valentine's Day."