Bloomberg Businessweek

Dining Out For Democracy

During the darkest days of the coronavirus crisis in Hong Kong, when restaurants were barely surviving, an appeal went out on social media to save Renee Cheung’s Dose. The restaurant is a “yellow” business, meaning it openly supports Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Like-minded diners answered the call—though they weren’t the ones who normally frequent the city’s hip bar district.

Wearing masks and wielding walking sticks, senior citizens climbed up steep Peel Street to wait in a line 10 people deep outside Cheung’s restaurant. As an additional show of solidarity, some paid much more than their meals cost, so that Cheung’s $40-a-day take suddenly shot up to $900. “The appeal actually saved my business,” says the 24-year-old, who has fashionably short hair and tattooed arms. “The senior citizens thanked us, the younger generation, for what we are doing to support democracy.”

Similarly, at C+ Burger, sales sank when classes at the nearby University of Hong Kong were suspended during the protests last year, and they fell further when the territory’s citizens and companies began taking precautions after the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in January. “Every single day, I would just sit here like a Buddha, waiting for business,” says owner Carrie Lau, 30. Then in February, an appeal on a yellow Facebook

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