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Prices easier to digest

THE Expo 2010 organizer has brought down food prices at the Expo site to an average of about 38 yuan (US$5.57) a meal from 45 yuan and will continue to lower prices as more visitors come to the Expo, a senior Expo organizer said yesterday.

More than 80 percent of the restaurants are now offering mid- and low-price food, Lin Shengyong, director of Commercial Administration and Service Department of the Expo site told a press conference.

All the restaurants in the public areas of the site have promised to lower food prices and the organizer will supervise them for the Expo's duration, he said.

The Expo bureau has reduced the commission from food companies at the site to 3 percent from 8 percent, to ensure they can still make profits after reducing food prices.

The bureau is also planning to reduce the electricity and water fees for the restaurants at the site.

In a further effort to cut costs, the food companies are allowed to choose raw-material suppliers rather than those designated by the organizer as previously planned.

The bureau and the city's food-safety authority will supervise the entire food supply and service chain, Lin said. All food will be checked before being sent into the Expo site, he added.

The bureau has also installed 50 stalls selling breads (10 yuan for three) and steamed buns (5 yuan for three) across the Expo site. These stalls can provide 20,000 sets of breads and buns every day.

Lin also suggested visitors eat at restaurants on the lesser-used Puxi side of the Expo site. The Puxi site has about 8,000 square meters of catering areas, but more than 60 percent of them have had no businesses since the Expo opening, he said.

Almost all the restaurants at the Expo site have outlets at the Puxi site and many have good views of the Huangpu River, Lin said.

More than 70 percent of visitors to the Expo have had meals at the site since the Expo opening on May 1.

The Expo site has 130 restaurants, covering a total of 90,000 square meters. They can serve around 400,000 people every day. Participants have opened another 80 restaurants in their pavilions.

The restaurants stay open until the site closes at midnight.

By 7pm, the Expo attracted about 155,200 visitors yesterday, up from Sunday's 144,000, the Expo bureau said.


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