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Hotpot deliveries boil over in Chongqing

Updated: 2020-02-21 07:45:00

( Xinhua )

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A staff member of a hotpot restaurant in Chongqing prepares takeout food. [Photo/Xinhua]

Tan Yayun picked up the phone at the first ring, grabbed her keys, darted downstairs and rushed to her compound's gate to claim a package she'd eagerly anticipated for days and nights-a hotpot dinner.

Residents in Chongqing, which is virtually synonymous with hotpot, have been encouraged to stay home since the Spring Festival holiday in late January.

"Finally! My favorite! Hotpot!" she exclaimed as she picked up the package she'd been eagerly awaiting.

Hotpot is typically less likely to be ordered as takeout or delivery, since fresh ingredients are part of its identity.

China's catering businesses had prepared to cash in on the Spring Festival high season. But the sudden novel coronavirus outbreak has kept people from dining out.

Earnings during the holiday last year accounted for about 15 percent of the sector's total annual revenue of over 4.6 trillion yuan ($657 billion), the China Cuisine Association reports.

Nearly all meal reservations and wedding banquets have been canceled, and many restaurants have suspended operations, according to the association's report on the outbreak.

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