Businesses serving food and drink in Hanoi and Hai Phong have seen a surge in consumers during the first few days of the Lunar New Year.
Many coffee shops in Hanoi closed on January 22, the first day of Tet, and started welcoming patrons again the following day.
Highlands Coffee, The Coffee House, Phuc Long, Starbucks and other coffee chains didn’t raise prices on Tet to entice people.
Several smaller shops are just charging an extra VND5,000-VND10,000 (21 cents-43 cents) for each drink.
A coffee shop in Hanoi is full of customers on January 23, 2023, the second day of the Lunar New Year. Photo by VnExpress/Mai NLH
There has been a noticeable increase in the number of young people seen at downtown establishments since the Lunar New Year’s Eve.
Huong Mai, a resident of Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem District, had to walk to a number of cafés on Ly Thuong Kiet Street at around 7 p.m. to find one with a table big enough for eight people.
“Most stores have a high volume of customers coming in and out at any given time,” said Mai. “The wait time for refreshments is also longer than usual.”
Not only do large coffee chains attract a huge number of customers, but so do a plethora of smaller, more affordable sidewalk cafés.
On the second day of Tet, Dang Hoang Viet of Hanoi’s Ha Dong District said he and his family ate grilled steak at an eatery on Cua Dong Street for VND750,000.
His family spends around VND650,000-VND700,000 on a normal day for a similar meal.
In northeastern Hai Phong City, the food court at Aeon Mall was also filled with patrons.
All tables are full of tables at a pizza establishment inside Aeon Mall, Hai Phong, on January 23, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Quanh Thanh
It took Quang Thanh, a local resident, over half an hour to find an available table on the first level of the shopping complex when he came at 6:30 p.m. on the second day of Tet.
When asked about Lunar New Year’s Eve dining, Thanh said: “It took me a long time to find a table, and it took the restaurant another half an hour to make and serve my food.”
On the first day of Lunar New Year, many eateries in Hai Phong stayed open late.
Nguyen Ngoc Anh, owner of a row of vermicelli and banyan cake shops on Le Lai Street in Hai Phong, says he has kept his shops open till the end of Tet in recent years to accommodate the growing number of customers who venture out to the city to see fireworks or visit temples. She says that this period has the potential to bring in more business than any other time of the year.
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