Marcel Holman, managing director of Hong Kong’s The Langham Hotel, reveals how the property’s dining outlets have survived both protests and pandemics.
"Takeaway and delivery services will definitely be the new normal," says The Langham Hong Kong's Marcel Holman.
“It’s been a challenging year for all hotels in Hong Kong. Our dining business has been affected in the past months like all restaurants across town. Just as things were picking up in June and July, we were hit with the ‘third wave’. We now have to reinvent and innovate, tweaking our menus to make them suitable for takeaway and delivery.
“Ordering air freighted food was a logistical nightmare during the initial outbreak, as many flights were suddenly grounded. Fortunately things have sorted themselves out and cargo flights are in operation.
“We’ve had to look for some alternative suppliers, but luckily Hong Kong has a very well-connected network. We’ve explored working with more local suppliers, especially for fruit and vegetables.
“In response to the most recent regulations (all Hong Kong dining outlets must close at 6pm and can offer takeaway only between 6pm and 5am) we’re now offering personalised in-room dining to all in-house guests. The Langham operates a variety of dining spaces, including three Michelin-starred T'ang Court, Bostonian Seafood & Grill, Main St Deli, Palm Court and Artesian.
“The Langham Meals on Wheels is our takeaway and delivery service campaign. We’ve introduced more convenient ways of ordering, such as via WhatsApp or online and we’re offering free delivery within our immediate, Tsim Sha Tsui neighbourhood. And there’s a 20% discount on all self-collect orders.
“Pivoting to a takeaway menu has been a challenge. Keeping food hot and well-presented during delivery is something we’ve had to address; we’re trying to improve this service by sourcing food-warmer and thermal bags. We’re also mindful of using biodegradable packaging and cutlery.
“We’re fortunate to have the support of our loyal, local guests, who continue to dine with us and order takeaways during this difficult time.
“Internally, the safety and well-being of my team is my highest priority right now. We’ve worked hard to ensure nobody is laid off. To keep morale high, we’ve distributed free face masks to everyone, ensured the staff menu is robust and even spruced up the employee entrance to pep things up as staff step into the workplace.
“Takeaway, delivery services and home cooking will definitely be the new normal. The pandemic has been going on for half a year now, so the public is picking up habits that will be here for the long-term. We’re planning to launch ‘rent a chef’ later this year to bring a personalised, five-star experience into the home.
“Health and hygiene standards will also be important moving forward. We’re currently working hard on a green, health-conscious menu that will be introduced later in the year.”
Takeaway tips from the top
The Bostonian's Home Brunch Platter.
The Bostonian Seafood & Grill’s Home Brunch Platter is perfect for two or three people sharing, recommends Holman. (Think poached Boston lobster, shrimp, Alaskan king crab, house-cured salmon, European cold cuts, artisanal cheeses, seafood paella, braised Wagyu beef cheek and mini pastries). And if you self-collect, the brunch comes with a complimentary bottle of Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut. HK$1,500, or HK$1,200 with the self-collect 20% discount.
Three Michelin-starred T’ang Court is offering a Cantonese set lunch for just HK$400, or HK$320 with the 20% discount offer. Check the menu for this week’s dishes.
The Langham’s home-aged Negronis are crafted by our award-winning bartenders at Artesian. A 500ml bottle costs HK$650, or HK$520 with the discount.