More than 200 people on the Mainland lost their jobs after Café de Coral closed all of its Spaghetti House outlets, a brand that operates under restaurant group.
Amid the poor performance, Hong Kong employees at the restaurant chain have complained to Apple Daily about extremely long working hours.
Chefs working at Café de Coral Fast Food and Super Super Congee & Noodles said they were forced to work 16 hours shifts – from 6 in the morning to 10 at night.
During the restaurant group’s annual results announcement last Wednesday, members of Hong Kong Chef Union and Neighbourhood and Workers Services Centre staged a protest at the the company’s office in Fo Tan, demanding better treatment for workers.
Protesters made reference to the brand’s new television advertisement featuring actor Dayo Wong Chi Wah.
The theme of the advertisement was to create happiness and show love.
In light of this, protesters criticised the group for paying huge amount of money for promotion while not showing much love for its employees.
In response to accuses on exploiting staff with long hours and cutting overtime pay, the chain restaurants’ chief executive Peter Lo Tak Shing said he hopes to reduce overtime to two hours.
“We will continue to communicate with employees and we hope to keep everyone happy,” he said in a press conference.
The chain restaurant currently employs more than 17,000 staff in Hong Kong.
Despite a glaring staff shortage which saw staff doing overtime, Lo said during the annual results announcement that the group will open another 50 to 60 fast food outlets in Hong Kong during this financial year, as he believed locals will spend more on fast food amid the economic slowdown.
Given a shortage of workers in the local food and beverage industry, Lo also said that the restaurant is set to offer competitive pay to employ more staff, and that there had been double digit pay raises for certain ranks of staff last year.
Human Resources has reached out to Café de Coral for a comment, and will update this story once received.