It’s becoming clearer by the day, that COVID-19 is already impacting global, national, and local economies in quite a big way.
In Chengdu, shops, gyms, restaurants, bars, hotels, and private schools, are really starting to hurt.
At Chengdu-Expat we have always done our best to let you know what’s going on in the city; from new international restaurants openings,
to deep diving into the history and culture of local cuisine.
And whilst we spend most of our time knee deep in mala tang, enjoying living in one of the culinary capitals of the world, we get extra excited when new international places open their doors. This is mainly because they are so few and far between. Tacos, rotisserie chicken, sourdough pizzas, Peruvian fusion, you name it, we get a little thrill when we start to hear the first whispers in the WeChat-sphere…
We also try and give exposure to these places with the Chengdu-Expat Awards, and our food column Chengdu Eats – because we know first hand just how difficult it is to run a western bar or restaurant in the city, and so often places we love struggle to keep their doors open.
There are a couple of reasons it’s is so gosh darn difficult for foreign F&B here:
-Firstly because Sichuan food is so very good, local tastes are some of the strongest in China. This means there is little appetite for authentic international cuisine, and restaurants tend to struggle if they try to survive on demand from the international community alone.
-The second is, as Chengdu is relatively isolated from the bustling East Coast, or easy-access ports like Shenzhen – cold-chained ingredients are expensive and hard to come by. Importing the things required to give you the taste of home can mean high costs, inconsistent supply chains, and unhappy customers.
There are lots of other reasons that make it tricky, that many of us who are guests in the city experience in our day to day lives like language barriers and local laws – which become even tougher when trying to run a business; delivery apps, tax systems, employment laws and more. And it is for all these reasons, we really salute the people that work hard to bring us new flavors, and authentic tastes of home.
And things are about to get a lot tougher for these bars and restaurants, who haven’t been able to open for almost a month now.
As people trickle back to Chengdu over the coming weeks, it’s a really crucial time to come together as a community, and support the local businesses that we love. Or they will disappear forever.
We also recognize there will be tough times ahead for everyone, as lots of us will be experiencing salary cuts, or cancelled contracts, so we will be thinking more carefully about how to spend our money in the coming months. But never the less, we can all do our bit to help each other out.
How we can help:
Avoid the big boys & shop local
China must be one of the most convenient places on earth, and having Hema or Carrefour deliver your groceries at the drop of a hat has never been easier, especially in the last few weeks you haven’t been able to leave your compound. However these big companies won’t miss you if you don’t spend your hard earned money there – but independent, and specialty shops certainly will. Alongside going out and supporting Ma & Pa grocery stores, here are some locally run businesses than can also bring incredible produce straight to your door.
– You & Coffee
Some restaurants have re-opened, though have to apply and take precautions in order to get permission. These depends on which district, though usually include measurements like registration and temperature check upon entry, 1.5meter distance between tables, limited number of people in the venue, among others.
Most of your favorite places are however still delivering, so make their day, and order breakfast, lunch, or dinner from one of these places. Long press on the poster below to extract the QR code and find out which places are open, then click on the venue name to find their contact details. Or ask Chengdu-Expat2 personal profile!
Bare in mind you may have to wait a little longer, as delivery men and women are thin on the ground.
Join the online campaign and get real ready
As we sit and wait for things to go back to normal, the best thing we can do is share the love, and tell people about the campaign. We will keep you posted, as bars and restaurants slowly re-open their doors, and when they do, we hope the community comes out and supports them. It will have been a long, hard few months. And we get to eat, and drink and be merry! Win win.
If you have ideas about how to get involved with the ” Put your ¥ where your ♥ is ” Campaign let us know in the comments. How will you do your bit to rejuvenate the places we know and love?
We are a community that cares about each-other. And we can’t wait until a time when we are all together in a bar, or in a restaurant, mask free, and clinking glasses again soon.
Put your ¥ where your ♥ is
Share the poster above on your Moments
Let us know your favorite in the comments!