• A view of the Garden Bar & Terrace of Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing.

A view of the Garden Bar & Terrace of Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing. (Photo : Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts/Facebook)

Restaurants, including outlets attached to five-star hotels and major international chains, whether prestigious or at least expensive are big winners during Chinese New Year.

Chinese people love to eat even non-holiday periods, and except for rural areas where restaurants are uncommon, even the most enthusiastic home chef will likely welcome a break after three or four days of constant cooking.

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“Chinese New Year is a blessing and a curse, as (regular) customers leave, staff leave, but people that stay get peace and quiet in a normally bustling city,” said restaurateur Alan Wong, as published on Skift.

Wong has 10 restaurants, which include an outlet of his Hatsune Japanese restaurant chain in shanghai’s Disney park. He shared that Shanghai Disneyland is doing good during Chinese New Year.

According to Christopher Chia, vice president and general manager of Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, it’s a quiet season for big city hotels. Only low-rated tour businesses are available.

“For conservative, it is probably more financially prudent to run a skeleton crew and let the rest of the staff have a good holiday.”

The annual Chunyun, the Spring Festival travel period, or more popularly known as Chinese New Year, represents the world’s biggest annual migration.

The nation’s transport system, including travel industry operators are all busy.

In 2015, 3.6 billion trips were made by Chinese. They’ve spent $100 billion on shopping and dining during the 40-day period.

Compared to restaurants, hotels didn’t fare well during the holidays as workers would prefer to go home and be with their families than work over China’s most important cultural holiday, leaving most hotels understaffed.

Business owners had to offer double, triple pays to those willing to work, just to encourage staffs to work, but to no avail.

“We’re going to lose half of our staff no matter what,” said Joel Shuchat, The Orchid Hotel owner, a boutique lodging and restaurant in Beijing.

With that, Shuchat had to choose between which one (the hotel or the restaurant) to keep staffed, and usually, it’s the restaurant.

The entire nation is given a seven-day public holiday to celebrate Chinese New Year. Many service industries refuse to work as most workers, especially migrant workers reunite with families back home.