Sichuan Haidilao hotpot for Hong Kong
Beijing-based hotpot chain Sichuan Haidilao Catering has signed a lease for its first restaurant in Hong Kong.
Real-estate development company Tai Hung Fai Enterprise’s founder Edwin Leon Siu-hung says Haidilao has leased one of his company’s properties in Mong Kok. The outlet is expected to open within the next five months.
Haidilao is following in the footsteps of rival hotpot chains such as Little Sheep, Simmer Huang and Xiao Yu Hotpot Restaurant in Hong Kong. However, Inner Mongolia-based Little Sheep, after a decade in Hong Kong, has only one of the six restaurants it initially opened, while Simmer Huang, which entered Hong Kong about two years ago, shut its one and only outlet at the end of last year.
“As for Haidilao, this may be a good timing to enter the Hong Kong market, where the commercial rental market has been under sustained downward pressure for quite a time and is showing signs of hitting bottom,” says strategist Hannah Li Wai-han of global investment bank UOB Kay Hian (Hong Kong). The hotspot chain will pay a monthly rent of HK$550,000 (US$70,880) for its three-storey store.
Founded in 1994, Haidilao is known for its spicy Sichuan-style food and customer services, which include free manicure, shoe-polishing and shoulder-massage services, as well as noodle-pulling shows and dance performances. It has 168 outlets across 51 cities on the mainland and has set up nine branches in Los Angeles, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.