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Chinatown London becomes an F&B takeaway hub for visitors as London reawakens

Shaftesbury has announced that 34 of Chinatown London’s F&B operators have opened to provide a critical mass of takeaway options for shoppers returning to the West End as the easing of the lockdown gathers momentum.

While a number of Chinatown’s operators have been providing deliveries for some time, many have now added food-to-go to cater for West End shoppers seeking something more than a takeway coffee or typical burger offer.

Reflecting Chinatown’s diversity, visitors can enjoy a wide range of takeaway food, from Bubblewrap’s famous egg-shaped waffles to Happy Lemon’s rock salted cheese milk tea and Pho & Bun’s pork belly bao burgers. More operators are joining the line-up daily.

Andrew Price, Portfolio Executive at Shaftesbury, commented:

“While it is early days, London is reawakening.  As it does, and footfall in the West End increases, people are actively searching for more inspiring choices as part of their visit, with many having missed their favourite foods during the lockdown.  Chinatown currently has the widest range of takeaway food available in one place in central London, is traffic free, and pedestrian friendly.

In parallel, we have received interest from a number of new operators keen to join Chinatown as London’s recovery gains momentum.  Like the increasing volumes of consumers, brands recognise Chinatown London’s enduring appeal as a unique destination in the heart of the West End.”

Newport Court, or dessert alley as it has become known on social media, is proving particularly popular, with many of its brands reporting growing demand for their traditional best sellers.

Alex Xu, owner of Happy Lemon, added:

We have kept in contact with our customers virtually during the lockdown, but being able to serve them once again is a very exciting moment.  Since the shops re-opened, customer numbers have grown, with people deliberately seeking us out as part of their visit to the West End.”

To ensure the safety of visitors, workers and residents, Shaftesbury has introduced a number of measures in Chinatown London. To encourage visitors to adopt social distancing measures, new floor markings have been installed in both Mandarin and English. Shaftesbury has also been working with businesses in Chinatown to help implement protective measures for staff and visitors. In addition, hand sanitisation points have been installed throughout Chinatown London.

Shaftesbury is also continuing with its #BringingChinatownHome campaign, which helps people take inspiration and enjoy the area from their homes. The programme includes a virtual ‘routine’ that allows social media followers to explore Chinese culture with a series of activities throughout the week, mixing mindfulness exercises and basic language lessons with regular recipe content.

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