Cha chaan teng buffet
Cha chaan teng buffet (Chinese: 茶餐廳放題) has become part of the Hong Kong's food culture. It is a concept of serving meals in which customers could order as much as they want after they have paid a certain amount of price. Cha Chaan Teng buffet originated in a tea restaurant located in Tsuen Wan. The motive for this buffet was to resist inflation. After being promoted by the media, many other restaurants followed to provide it. It is new and innovative to provide such a buffet in Hong Kong style. It can also help to promote Hong Kong's food culture.
Fei Du Du Cha Chaan Teng, owned by Stephen Cheng in Tsuen Wan, was the first representative letting consumers order buffet on 1 March 2013 which creates a new dining trend. The idea first appeared 10 years ago when Stephen was facing high rent and he decided to apply a new method to run his business. Although in the first week of launching the buffet, it was not as popular as his expectation, later it was reported by the media, more than 70 people waiting for seat time over two hours. After the great success of him, several restaurants tried to follow the trend, including Wo Heng Restaurant.
Cha Chaan Teng buffet is rich in Hong Kong local culture. Take Fei Du Du Cha Chaan Teng as an example. Both Chinese and Western food is served. Buffet in hotels may have greater variety of food offered, but would rarely present Hong Kong a mixed cultural place.
Moreover, Cha Chaan Teng is a local restaurant with cheaper price, comparing to other restaurants in Hong Kong. When such a place needs to set up a buffet as gimmick in order to survive, it reflects that Hong Kong's high inflation is hard for small-scale, independent shops to survive.
Just like other tea restaurants, Cha Chaan Teng Buffet provides food and drinks such as French toast, sandwiches, various Fried rice and Chinese noodles. For drinks, it offers Hong Kong style milk tea, coffee, ‘Yuanyang’, lemon tea and so on. The price of the buffet ranges from $40 to $80. In one of the restaurants, consumers can choose to have either a $40 or $80 buffet. Consumers who choose to have $40 can have breakfast, lunch or tea buffet. Those who pay $80 can have the dinner buffet. Both these two sets of buffet provide one free drink to consumers.
Most of the customers are pleased with this brand new selling method. The restaurant owners were appreciated because of their effort of competing with the high inflation rate. Most of the customers still think that was acceptable when the owner increase the price. A netizen, “Qoo” said that, “ It is reasonable to raise the price otherwise there is no way for this kind of small restaurants to survive.” Meanwhile, Mr. Chan living in Sham Shui Po also said the meal was almost 70% cheaper than the meal having in the industrial regions nearby. While some are opposing the raising of price, they think that the original intention of the buffet may be changed.
- Lai Chun Kin, "Fei Du Du Cha Chaan Teng gained a great success in providing buffet menu", nextmedia.com, 21/03/2013
- Sam Shui Ching, "Cha Chaan Teng Buffet, customers still support even the price increased to $40", HKET.com, 14/03/2013
- tsui8, "$3o Buffet in Cha Chaan Teng netizens group together to eat there customers said that they will feel shame if they eat too much", Discuss.hk, 09/03/2013
- Lau Si Lok, "New Strategy in market, people started the trend of buffet, $68 for 1 hour", Sky Post, 15/03/2013