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Takings plunge at Macao’s restaurants in a further blow to the local dining sector

Latest figures show that Western restaurants are being hit especially hard, with receipts diving by nearly 23 percent compared to a year ago
  • The data underscores the difficulty local restaurateurs face in competing with their mainland counterparts when it comes to variety and price

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Restaurant receipts in Macao plummeted by nearly 12 percent in April compared to the same month in 2023, according to data from the Statistics and Census Service (known by its Portuguese abbreviation DSEC).

The bureau noted that Easter and its associated tourism boom fell in April last year (as opposed to March this year), creating a “high base of comparison.” Nonetheless, ongoing data trends suggest that the local restaurant sector is in difficulty. 

Compared to the preceding month, April’s restaurant receipts fell by 7.5 percent.

One noodle shop operator, whose premises are near Macao’s main tourist attraction, the Ruins of St. Paul’s, recently told Macao News that the situation was “really bad.”

[See more: Macao’s independent restaurateurs are facing a catastrophic loss of business]

Western operators are being hit especially hard, according to DSEC data, with takings at Western restaurants plunging by almost 23 percent year on year.

The dining sector has struggled to match competition from nearby mainland Chinese cities, which lure local diners with lower prices, greater variety and easy access from Macao. 

A recent Macao consumer satisfaction survey found that Zhuhai, Macao’s neighbouring city, scored higher than the SAR when it came to eating out.

Last year, the Macao Catering Industry Association found that as many as 40 percent of the restaurants it approached in an informal poll said they were considering closing. 

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