[Photo by Yonhap]
As many as 1,600 eatery and drinking locations, both upscale and casual, have gone out of business across Seoul so far this month as people work from home and keep social activities to the minimum amid virus spread.
According to data compiled by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, 1,600 diners, restaurants, bistros and bars shut down business from March 1 to 20 in the capital city, up 9 percent from the same period last year.
The virus outbreak has dealt a significant blow to the local dining industry that already has been grappling with slowing sales amid the economic slowdown, said a market expert. The business of restaurants and bars, regardless of size, is deteriorating fast from plunging sales as people stay at home except for essential needs to avoid the virus contagion.
By business type, 274 traditional Korean restaurants closed down, 83 fried chicken joints and small pubs, 73 Western-food restaurants. The coronavirus outbreak also struck the café segment hard, resulting 108 closures.
The largest number of restaurants and bars closure has been reported in bustling and posh Gangnam district with 195, followed by Songpa with 123 and Seocho with 101.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]