“It is supposed to be good news when the Michelin Guide’s 2016 edition says a new category of good, affordable street food has come to Hong Kong and Macau. But the Michelin Star has turned out to be the kiss of death for several small restaurants in Hong Kong, as landlords move to raise rents, wanting to profit off their tenants’ anticipated earnings boom.
A sudden and sharp hike in the rent is what forced Kai Kai Dessert, one of the street food eateries recommended by Michelin, to relocate. The dessert restaurant’s landlord abruptly raised the rent 120 percent, asking for HK $220,000 (US $28,385) a month and a two-year lease agreement. Kai Kai Dessert had been operating in the same district for 40 years.”
A lot of these restaurants were formerly just food carts that became popular enough to establish “permanent” brick-and-mortar shops. And of course, the landlords are now swooping in to punish the chefs for their success.
Because landlords, everywhere, are assholes, especially in Hong Kong where they are under no regulations to play fair.