A boy eats hot dry noodles outside a restaurant in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, on April 2. (Photo: China Daily)
After months-long shutdown, dine-in services at restaurants in Wuhan, Hubei province, have gradually resumed since the end of April. Local specialties such as hot dry noodles (reganmian), crawfish and other products are finally reappearing in eateries.
On April 26, the Wuhan food and beverage industry association issued a guideline on gradually resuming dine-in services at restaurants in the city, officially giving the green light for the catering industry to get back to work after months of forced shutdowns during the coronavirus outbreak.
The guideline said that before entering restaurants, customers must present their green QR codes on their smartphones, undergo temperature checks and wash their hands. Restaurateurs should maintain distances of 1.5 to 2 meters between tables, limit passenger flow and encourage making reservations before dining.
"All restaurants in Wuhan must submit an application to reopen before resuming operations. Once reopened, restaurants should strictly follow guidance to bring the city back to normal on the basis of epidemic prevention and control," said Liu Guoliang, head of the association.
Su Yan, administrative director of Wuhan-based Sunny Sky Restaurant, said that to prepare for reopening, the eatery adjusted its menu, increasing hot dishes by 15 percent and cutting cold dishes correspondingly. "Hot dishes are cooked at high temperatures, which may reduce the possibility of the virus surviving," Su said.
Sunny Sky's Baofeng Road restaurant, which was among the first group approved by the Wuhan government to reopen, converted its outdoor parking lot into a dining area. The open-air dining area has become preferred by customers.
Apart from dine-in services, other catering practices such as takeout and online ordering are also on the rise. As of May 1, there were 51,000 restaurants in the city, and 45.6 percent of them had resumed takeout services, while 13.3 percent now had dine-in services, the association said.
On April 17, Wuhan-based gaming platform Douyu launched a four-day public welfare livestreaming sales event featuring Hubei products such as reganmian and rice wine. During the activity, 809,000 local products were sold, with accumulated sales revenue of 30.3 million yuan ($4.3 million). More than 34.31 million people logged in to the event.
"Using Douyu's platform and the new mode of 'livestreaming plus e-commerce', we hope to promote Hubei brands to netizens nationwide in a more direct manner. It is part of our efforts to help enterprises in Hubei resume work, and assist the region in reviving business," said Chen Shaojie, founder and CEO of Douyu.