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Cafe de Coral Holdings reported earnings Tuesday said net profit for the first half the year was down 11.3% to HK$206 million due to a spike in manpower costs even though revenue over the same period increased 6.24% to HK$4.13 billion from a year earlier.
Speaking to the Standard chief executive officer Peter Law Tak Shing said the costs could be attributed to paying staff.
“In order to keep frontline staff, staff costs posted a double-digit increase, with average salary at HK$50 per hour per staff. In the first half, over 400 new staff were employed. Thus, manpower costs surged, leading to a drop in profit. But the situation is now under control.”
Front line employees saw their hourly wage increases from $40 to $50 per hour in the first half of 2017. It seems the restaurant chain has stepped up its effort in retaining employees. Employees at Café de Coral Fast Food and Super Super Congee & Noodles complained to local medias last year about extremely long working hours.
Some chefs said they were forced to work 16 hours shifts – from 6 in the morning to 10 at night.
While the restaurant chain has said it won’t increase prices for consumers it did indicate adding more variety to the menu as well as plans to open eight to ten new stores employing 200 more employees in the coming year despite rent increases.
Earlier this year the company announced it would close all their stores in Eastern China.