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Deliveroo's latest index has revealed 82% of surveyed restaurants in Hong Kong do not have plans to lay off or ask staff to take unpaid leave in Q2, and close to 60% reported an increase in labour and operation costs. 

Surveying about 500 restaurants in Hong Kong between 30 March and 13 April 2021, the restaurant confidence index indicated that 29% of restaurants initially expressed plans to lay off staff when asked in early January, but only 23% followed through.

If restaurants need more workers, 53% of them prefer hiring part-time and temporary staff over full-time staff (23%).

Separately, 57% of those surveyed reported an increase in labour costs and 59% in operating costs – a jump of 13% compared to 46% three months ago.

Many of the restaurants surveyed showed signs of a recovery towards the second half of Q1, as 57% experienced an increase in dine-in, due to the government's social distancing measures being relaxed after Chinese New Year. However, 22% reported no changes. Restaurants are also feeling more optimistic than before, with 34% of them having a positive outlook on the food and beverages (F&B) industry, a 14% increase from the last quarter.

Nearly half (45%) of employers expressed a desire for the government to provide a one-off allowance to help and further support the sector, while 20% of restaurants are hoping for rent relief and 19% for a wage subsidy scheme for employees.