Enjoy the Food With Your Eyes Only


COVID-19 has caused event organizers to continually modify details to accommodate the health and safety of the attendees.

This year’s annual Hong Kong Food Expo asked visitors not allowed to sample the delicious food. They could observe the savory food passively but their fingers cannot grasp the cuisine. Stomachs growled while passing the packed booths with masks that function as a barrier to any form of munching. Is this an experiment for how much self-control people can exhibit?

Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the lead organizer of the event and said: “The restrictions were in place to accommodate the authorities’ anti-epidemic guidelines.”

Simon Wong, the President of the Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades, said business operations take a toll from the bans.

“In the past, a lot of booth operators would pass out samples of food and drinks to attract customers,” Wong said.

People often seek to taste their options before committing to a purchase and removing the sampling adds to the hesitations of the buyers. They don’t want to purchase something that looks pleasant but when they take it home, their dog wouldn’t even take a bite.

Wong hopes that the HKTDC revisits the rule and modifies it to accommodate a designated area where visitors can sample the food items.

Unfortunately, the exhibition center only grants permission for this option in trade fairs, not public events, since the number of attendees is drastically higher in public audiences.

Drinking is permitted but food consumption is strictly prohibited. Visitors can stay hydrated at the food expo and stuff their faces at home after the event.


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