Luxury brands like Mercedes and Tiffany & Co. are adding restaurants and eateries to their locations to attract a new generation of customers, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.
The move seems to be working, as many restaurants have lengthy waiting lists, and are popular on social media.
Zwilling ZA Henckels is a German high-end kitchenware company, and it has a restaurant on top of its store in Shanghai. The eatery has a long backlog of reservations.
The restaurant’s deputy general manager, Eva Liu, said the restaurant was so busy that she couldn’t even get a table for her friends on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
“Sorry. Two spots at the bar at 8:30 p.m.,” the woman told her friends. “We’ve been fully booked for a couple of weeks.”
The restaurant, which is a Mediterranean-style eatery, is expected to reach revenue of 1 million yuan ($143,000) in December.
“Dining is not just about eating, it is more about the experience now in China, and in particular those experiences that can be shared or even shown off,” Liu said. “Eating at a top-notch brand like Zwilling is something that is worth taking pictures of, posting on social media and waiting to get a ton of likes.”
The catering market in the country has so far been immune to the economic slowdown currently being experienced by the rest of the country. The country’s gross domestic product growth is down to 6 percent in Q3, which is the lowest it’s been in 27 years.
Catering revenue, however, went up 9.4 percent year over year, to 4.19 trillion yuan through November.
Tiffany & Co. has a restaurant in Shanghai that has a six-month waiting list, and French fashion house Lanvin opened a new cafe in December.
“Luxury retailers tapping [food and beverage] business will be a sustainable trend in the coming years riding on China’s large consumption market,” said Shirley Hu, director of research at CBRE China.