International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management



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Wan is a businessman in Hong Kong. He has been running the royal palace restaurant in Hong Kong for close to ten years now.  This restaurant was opened in 2000 after checking the hospitality industry in Hong Kong. This business venture is essential to wan as it helps him display his art and love for cooking and appreciating Hong Kong’s food culture through the various foods found in their exciting menu. This business was left in his care after his parents passed away a couple of years back. Over the years, wan has been trying to maintain his parents’ legacy, the hotel, by ensuring that the restaurant never closes and still brings in the profit as expected. The way wan runs this business venture is exemplary as it has remained to be one of the top-notch restaurants in this place. The royal palace is being run by Wan with the help of his family members. When the restaurant was passed down to wan, his parents were master chefs of some of the most popular dishes in this place. This meant that the place always flocked as people thoroughly enjoyed the delicacies. It has been wan’s wish as well as that of the family members to try and maintain the positive image that the royal palace has gathered over the years despite the various challenges that face the restaurant. This has been capable due to the unwavering support from the family as well as the local community, and it is very evident that wan is totally appreciative of that.  With the current trends in the market, wans only wish and hope is that they will continue to deliver the best in the restaurant and, in the process, maintain their loyal customers as well as increase their businesses profit margin.

Business practice and the challenges experienced.

This business practice is not unique in Hong Kong. Simply because there are plenty of restaurants in the country which have been in the market for a while. On a daily basis, there are new start-ups of the business venture.  This business venture entails the cooking and serving of meals. The success of the royal palace has been contributed to by a number of factors. Some of these factors include the presence of a front team that is very dedicated to its work. Most of the restaurant staff are in the family; hence, now the importance of the venture. However, to be a part of this hotel, the staff has to do a course on business management and hospitality. This is important as it helps in toning down nepotism and helps in letting the business grow much better. According to wan, The Front of house staff is the face of your restaurant. These are the first people the diners come to see when they get into the restaurant. Therefore, their first impression is key as it helps in promoting the business. Wan says to be successful in the practice, and he has recognized the importance and value of having an experienced front staff who ensure that they treat the customers well. This business practice and its entails require the restaurant to have a   strong brand proposition in wans words, and this is what makes your restaurant stand out from the rest. As for the royal palace, it has stood out from the rest due to the family’s recipe, which was handed down to them by their parents. This has enabled the restaurant to offer different things to the public which are not in the market.

This practice has been beneficial to wan and his family due to the presence of solid marketing support. Once you establish your niche, wan says it’s all a matter of coming up with the correct methods to market and sell the venture. This is by word of mouth or other advertising platforms. This helps in gathering the support that is needed in practice and hence its success. Having a clear set of objectives is essential as it lets the people working for a particular goal know the importance of the venture and knows what ropes to pull in order to rise in the practice. The act of cooking, serving food while still maintaining good customer service is not easy. Therefore, maintaining discipline in this venture is essential while at least using the skills learned to help run the business in the right direction. This has helped in running this venture for wan as he has been unequivocal on what to do and expect with his employees as well as the approach in which he expects the royal palace to take. Finally, wan talked about patience. In order to survive in the hospitability business, patience and trust are paramount. It has taken wan and his family quite a number of years to achieve the success they boast in. this is not to mean that there weren’t challenges experienced or days when he and the employees wanted to quit. Still, Wan says that the only thing which pulled them out of the hole they were rapidly falling into is remembering why they began in the first place and thus pushed harder to achieve the set goals that they had put for themselves. In addition, wan believes that every employee needs to be given the benefit of the doubt and room for change. This is experienced when the employers give their employees room for growth, and then they are able to achieve their potential, which is vital in the business. The existence of this venture has enabled wan to exercise patience while serving people, dealing with the different policies that govern the business sector regularly while still trying his level best to be the best family man there is. This practice is essential to wan and his family and is keen o protecting it and ensuring that it reaches its maximum potential.

However, with the success of the royal palace, there have been a couple of challenges that have faced this business venture. These challenges have either been physical, ethical, political, or economic. These challenges have changed the way he handles his business. In some way, the challenges have made him more aware of a blessing the business has been to his family and himself.  This section goes to explains the different challenges faced by Wan and his family while dealing with their business venture.

Keeping up with market trends.

With the world evolving, there are various trends that come in on a daily basis. When it comes to learning, the trend as of now in online education due to the prevalence of the pandemic. When it comes to the hospitality business, the various trends had affected the way in which this venture is the existence of new meals and new methods of cooking which did not exist when this practice began. This proves to be a challenge to wan and his team as it means that they have to work extra hard to learn these new market trends and, in the process, accommodate each and every need of the customers that walk into the restaurant every day. This means that there needs to be a person or employee who tackles that side of the business and keeps everyone alerted of the new market trends and how to best achieve those trends in order to benefit the business as well as the employees. (O’Mahony & B. 2020).

Enough capital.

Money is an essential aspect of any business venture. The presence of capital helps in boosting a business venture. The lack of, therefore, affects the business negatively. According to wan, there have been situations where finances were a tricky part. This has affected the purchase of goods that would be used to prepare meals for other customers. The lack of finances has also led to the firing of employees due to a lack of money to pay them. This has affected the workforce in the restaurant where they were shorthanded. This involved the time meals are being served, and this made them lose their customers. The lack of customers has also led to delay maintenance issues that were scheduled to take place.  Money is an essential aspect of this business, and its steady flow helps in the success of the business. (Parsa et al., 2015).

Covid 19.

The wide prevalence of covid 19 ha played a significant role in the challenges facing most businesses. The royal palace is no different. Some of the containment measures that have been put in place to reduce the spread of the virus are limited converging of people. This has reduced the number of people who are allowed in the restaurants. This has led to huge losses as food is going to waste without covering the intended target as earlier. Before the country was opened, there was a total lockdown. This led to the closure of the business temporarily. For the hospitality business, you cannot just operate online. Therefore, losses were experienced when the business was temporarily closed. This affected the profit margin as well as the typical earnings of the place. In addition, the restaurant had to let go of a number of employees so as to serve the small number of people who are allowed in the hotel. He is, however, hopeful that the covid situation will end soon and end up with his restaurant back to its original capacity and in the process gain more profits as well as expand the business. (Jain & D 2020).


With the new trends in the hospitality scene, it has been particularly difficult keeping up with new trends that have risen in the hospitality business. This has led to competition from other restaurants in trying to poach new customers with the new menus. This has been difficult in letting one menu stick on the restaurant for a long as new changes are deemed to happen eventually. With the existence of family recipes, it has not been enough. This has also been subject to competition as other restaurants try to copy the formula so as to attract more customers. Competition from other restaurants has also been a challenge in the business, and trying to come up with new ways of trying to retain the customers that were initially theirs. (Shafieizadeh 2020).

Hiring permanent and temporary staff.

The royal palace being a family business, it is challenging to hire permanent and temporary staff. This is because most of the family members wanted to be included in the business without the necessary skills and techniques on how to run and manage a business. This means that another staff has to be employed somewhere else who has the knowledge on how to run a business. Getting people who are well informed on this is hectic and needs extra keenness so as to get people who know how to relate well with the customers as well as the staff.  However, even when hiring well learned staff people, a business owner has to be conscious of who they let work there long term or short term. This critical thinking skill is crucial as it enables the employer to trust his gust on the role these staffs are going to play. (Brien et al. 2017)

The solution to these challenges.

After visiting the restaurant, some solutions were found which were believed to help wan and his family in running a successful business.  


When it comes to the menu, wan should ensure that the menu is in small sizes. The lengthier the menu, the more time it takes to choose stuff and thus boredom. When it is manageable, they will know what Is loved most by the people and in the process specialize most in that. This helps in making the meals delicious when prepared thoroughly to suit the needs and preferences of the customers. The menu should also be aligned and help meet the new trends while still maintaining contact with their culture while selling their food. Lastly, the menu should be updated one a year. This can be in terms of menu and the prices.  This helps accommodate the various trends which keep on changing and thus more profits. (O’Mahony & B 2020).

Selling point.

Competition is a must in the business. This does not mean that the business people have to quit. Therefore, to curb this challenge, wan should ensure that they are original.  While dealing with new trends, the business should ensure that they still have some items that maintain their originality. It is important to keep up with trends but still a touch of where and why they began. It helps in maintaining and improving the value of the restaurant. (Erkmen et al. 2019).


Another solution to these challenges is getting a better management team. This can be done by delegating some duties to some of the duties. This helps in ensuring that every area is covered well without worry of any other parts not being covered. This helps in keeping track of the menus as well as knowing the most profitable menus and finally understanding the income as well as the profitable margin. This is important as it helps in letting the business grow in the right direction.


Owning a business is a strong fete. Running it in the right direction is even better. For any business venture to be successful, the business owner needs to be extra keen on what they allow to happen and exist in their business. This helps in the application of critical thinking skills to help in making the right decision regarding their business. This helps in dealing with the challenges that come their way and ensure that the business is up and running well. With the new trends that keep on coming up, the business owner has to make sure that they are on their toes to ensure that they help in satisfying the different needs that arise with the hospitality business. Also, the business owners need to have a clear goal of where they want the business to go and work tirelessly everyday to help achieve these goals.






Brien, A., Thomas, N. J., & Brown, E. A. (2017). How hotel employee job-identity impacts the hotel industry: The uncomfortable truth. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 31, 235-243.

Erkmen, E., & Hancer, M. (2019). Building brand relationship for restaurants. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management.

Jain, D. (2020). Effect of COVID-19 on restaurant industry–how to cope with changing demand. Effect of COVID-19 on Restaurant Industry–How to Cope With Changing Demand (April 16, 2020).

O’Mahony, B. (2020). Adapting to tourism trends in Hoi An: the challenge for Nam Long restaurant. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 25(10), 1071-1084.

Parsa, H. G., van der Rest, J. P. I., Smith, S. R., Parsa, R. A., & Bujisic, M. (2015). Why restaurants fail? Part IV: The relationship between restaurant failures and demographic factors. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 56(1), 80-90.

Shafieizadeh, K., & Tao, C. W. W. (2020). How does a menu’s information about local food affect restaurant selection? The roles of corporate social responsibility, transparency, and trust. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 43, 232-240.

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