Roast Peking duck restaurants have seen a sharp drop in business because of the ongoing bird flu outbreak; Quanjude, a brand with 136 years experience in making roast duck, havep lummeted 17% in 12 trading days

Duck restaurants hit by bird flu outbreak

Updated: 2013-04-20 07:47

By Wang Zhuoqiong and Ye Jun ( China Daily)Roast Peking duck restaurants have seen a sharp drop in business because of the ongoingbird flu scare.

DaDong Food & Beverage Investment Co Ltd has seen its business fall 15 percent since thebird flu outbreak last month, said Dong Zhenxiang, Da Dong Peking Roast Duck Restaurantowner.

But he said the restaurants are not worried because duck dishes are only part of the menu,and the reduction of orders for duck will not affect their business on a large scale.

Also, he said, Da Dong sources its ducks from Beijing Golden Star Duck Center, and he truststhe safety of ducks provided by the company based on his experience working with it in pastyears.

“Their quarantine and epidemic prevention management are rather mature,” Dong said.

Beijing Golden Star Duck Center also provides ducks to such large roast duck restaurants asChina Quanjude Group and Duck King.

After dealing with long lines at the DaDong Peking Roast Duck Restaurant in the past, ZhuHong and her family were surprised to find one of its upmarket restaurants in the downtownWangfujing area only half-full on Wednesday. “The VIP rooms are almost empty,” Zhu said.

Meanwhile, shares of Quanjude, a brand with 136 years experience in making roast duck, haveplummeted 17.05 percent in 12 trading days, despite company assurances that the safety of itsducks is guaranteed.

Feng Zijian, director of the health emergency center of the Chinese Center for Disease Controland Prevention, told the Beijing Times there is no proof that processed and cooked chickenand eggs can lead to infection with the H7N9 virus.

Catering industry leaders have been more optimistic about the effect of the spreading influenzacaused by poultry.

“We haven’t seen much of a negative impact on the catering business as a result of bird flu,”said Bian Jiang, assistant director of the China Cuisine Association.

Government transparency on bird flu infection cases has eased public worries about theoutbreak, Bian said.

Bian said the loss of business at some high-end restaurants is more due to the government’snew rules that ban spending at luxury restaurants with public funds.

The drop in sales at high-end restaurants shows the rules have been effective in curbingconsumption by officials, said Sheng Laiyun, spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics,on Monday.

In the first two months of this year, Quanjude’s revenue was down 3 percent. According toQuanjude’s annual report in 2012, the company’s profits rose 12.73 percent year-on-year to216 million yuan ($34.9 million). The number of customers grew only 1.22 percent, to 7.56million.

To reduce the risk from bird flu, the China Cuisine Association has asked restaurants to payattention to product hygiene during purchasing and production.

It is important to increase cooking time and raise boiling temperatures, Bian said. Adjusting thepercentage of poultry dishes on the menu also will reduce the risk, he added.

For roast-duck lovers like Zhu Hong, bird flu is not a worry.

 

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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