Haidilao, China’s largest hot pot chain, is reducing its rollout of new restaurants and diversifying its fare, tempering its speedy expansion during the coronavirus pandemic in order to cope with a recent slump in consumer spending, reports Reuters.
The chain has seen falling table turnover rates and profits as consumers dine out less and new stores cannibalize business at older locations. “We will open stores based on market demand, and compared to before, will appropriately slow down our opening pace,” the company said in a written response to Reuters’ questions about its strategy.
China’s catering industry shrank 4.5% in August, before recovering for growth of 3.1% last month. Analysts said it will likely remain volatile for some time amid the country’s broader patchy economic recovery.