Can these young people save Hong Kong’s dying food industry from COVID-19?

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The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an economic slump in Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong government even banning people from eating in restaurants on July 29, leading to the shutdown of the city’s proud restaurant industry. One food and beverage marketing consultancy founded by two young Hong Kongers in the wake of the pandemic decided to use its expertise to save Hong Kong’s crumbling restaurant industry, as they couldn’t bear to see their favorite restaurants in financial ruin.

Alexandra Leung, Co-founder of Monogic. Photo: Alexandra Leung

The company is called Monogic, and co-founder Alexandra Leung tells us that the name comes from two words. “Mono” stands for unity, and ” logic” means we use data to drive decisions ,” she says . “Monogic was born from a passion for food and dining . We help restaurants overcome the challenges of digitizing, by offering digital marketing and e-commerce solutions.”

Alexandra, who currently lives in Hong Kong, is only 24 years old. She was born and raised in Hong Kong and has studied in Hong Kong and Paris. She speaks Mandarin and Cantonese and is fluent in English and French, and is currently learning Tagalog. In 2017, she saw a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, that changed her forever. She began to reflect on herself and wanted to do more to contribute to society. She then volunteered for the Independent Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), saying, ” Fortunately, I found AHRC. T he working experience gave me an interesting yet memorable experience. And I learn ed that I can do something, even it’s just small steps.”

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Alexandra used to write for Hong Kong Life and Wcity.com when she was in university. Since then, she has worked as a social media strategist and consultant and as an Assistant digital marketing manager at JIA Group, a food and beverage group in Hong Kong and London.

Kieran Gibb, Co-founder of Monogic. Photo: Alexandra Leung

Another co-founder, Kieran Gibb, is the same age as Alexandra and moved to Hong Kong from London when he was 22. He told the Eat News that his favorite Hong Kong dish is undoubtedly cha siu bao (barbecued pork bun) . It’s a steamed bun filled with sweet barbecue d pork. It’s first on the list for anyone wanting to try out Hong Kong cuisine. However, the closure of many restaurants following the outbreak of COVID-19 prompted Gibb and Leung to set up Monogic, as the Hong Kong government’s restriction on eating out on July 29 put enormous pressure on the industry and led to the unfortunate closure of many of their favorite restaurants. “We didn’t want to sit by and just watch all these restaurants that perhaps didn’t know how to adapt, suffer, and this was one of our main driving factors,” he says.

Kieran says, ” We have helped businesses from large F&B groups to independent establishments to open up a new way for their customers to enjoy their restaurants and food, and help keep operations running even when there aren’t any dine-in patrons.” Kieran stated with emotion that , “Every moment feels heartwarming when you’re working on your passion, and you feel like you’re providing a critical lifeline for businesses.”

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Alexandra added, “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge number of businesses to consider new solutions and providers. Being a startup allows us to provide very competitive prices, which has benefited businesses whose budgets have become much tighter and also benefited us by allowing us to secure opportunities to demonstrate what we can do.”

According to Monogic’s website, the company offers e-commerce solutions , order management systems, website design, search engine optimization, help with setting up Shopify stores, and commercial photography. Some of their successes include 22 Ships, JIA Everywhere, Duddell’s M ooncake promotion page, Blessing of Fuji, and Sailor Watch shoots.

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Fausto Chou is a Taiwanese journalist. He has been the executive editor of the Eat News since June, 2020. He previously worked for the Eastern Television (ETTV) and Formosa Television (FTV) as a journalist.

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Eat News is a Taiwanese digital media, analyzes current events and issues through column articles, videos, visual aid, and exclusive interviews.

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