New city policies increase breakfast options
Commuters and residents should have more breakfast options and more convenient breakfast services after Shanghai authorities released a number of policies on mobile breakfast vans on Monday.
The priority locations of breakfast vans will be at industrial parks, office buildings and large residential complexes where there is a shortage of breakfast service spots, the Shanghai Commission of Commerce said.
City authorities released 14 measures to support the operation of mobile breakfast vans, covering location, operating hours, logos and management of safety, hygiene and environment.
Approval procedures and inspections involved in new businesses under the city's breakfast project will be simplified, and temporary registration mechanism for small catering service suppliers will be improved as part of the measures, the commission announced.
Restrictions on breakfast varieties at convenience stores will be relaxed, and there will be more temporary parking spaces on streets during breakfast hours.
Preferential policies covering tax, rents and service commissions are also on the list, according to the commission.
The city has more than 20,000 breakfast supply venues, including community-based businesses, convenience stores, streetside businesses, bakeries and food delivery platforms, among which about 80 percent supply Chinese-style breakfasts and the rest western, according to the commission.
"We found that it is still not convenient for commuters and residents to buy breakfast as many traditional breakfast shops don't offer online services, and there is a shortage of breakfast venues in some areas," said Lai Xiaoyi, counsel of the commission.
"The options of breakfast are still not enough as traditional Chinese-style foods dominate the market while some people are calling for healthy light breakfasts and western food," she added.
"Moreover, the rising human, material and rent cost poses pressure on breakfast suppliers and COVID-19 worsened the situation, which calls for stronger support measures from authorities toward the orientation of new business models," said Lai.
A project enabling people to pick up breakfasts ordered via apps at delivery lockers is underway.
By the end of this year, there will be 100 breakfast lockers across the city, according to the commission.
A hundred mobile breakfast vans by five companies such as Bright Food Group and Freshippo will operate in the city by the end of September.
"We will encourage businesses to provide more healthy and diversified breakfast options and promote the use of eco-friendly packages," said Lai. "A sharing menu mechanism enabling people to eat diversified foods from different catering businesses in a single breakfast supply outlet will also be promoted."
A hundred model breakfast service venues will be released in October.
LiangFood, a local food company, has launched a breakfast van at a shopping mall in Changning District and it plans to put another 49 into service.
"We mainly serve Chinese-style breakfasts and recreational vehicles are used to serve breakfast," said Chen Qian, project manager of the company. "Each vehicle has two workers and we serve pre-packaged food to prevent cooking fume pollution.
"We plan to expand business to lunch and dinner, and the vehicles will be driven to different spots such as office buildings at different times based on demand," she said.
Under the city’s breakfast project, a number of catering businesses and convenience stores are providing a variety of breakfast items such as sandwiches, bread, egg, coffee, omelet, baozi (steamed stuffed buns) and cakes.
"The mobile breakfast vans are really good because it is difficult to buy breakfast on my way to work," said Angela Yu, who lives in Putuo District and works in the Nanjing Rd E. area of Huangpu District.
"I can only fill my stomach at convenience stores, but the options are limited," she said. "Baozi is an easy option, but I get bored with it.
"I am willing to see such mobile breakfast vans," she added.
Ada Xu, another Putuo resident, welcomed the vans.
"Many unlicensed breakfast stalls near my home were removed, making it hard to buy breakfast all the way to my working place in Jing'an District," she said.
"The vans will make breakfast convenient for white-collar workers," said Xu.