Angela Chang
Class of 1989




Five Loaves & Two Fish

The Point Dining Group was born on a whim six years ago. I had always loved to cook and entertain, and secretly wished to be an interior designer. Starting a restaurant after a career in finance turned out to be a perfect fit for my skills and interests. But little did I anticipate the struggles I would face – from the shop manager and head chef breaking out into a fistfight in the middle of Valentine's Day dinner service, to being rejected by one potential landlord after another, while trying to expand our presence. Now and again, I would wonder what "the point" was, and the still small voice inside me would say, "Just trust that God didn't bring you here by accident and He will show you the point!"

Little by little, as we miraculously outlived many peers, we proved ourselves as a serious, albeit "novice" operator, and even managed to grow into a small chain of three outlets. Then, just as the business seemed to be gaining traction, the protests began last May. Teargas shuttered the gates to our top performing outlet, and we had to monitor the news everyday to check whether it would be safe for our staff to come to work – indeed, whether it would even be meaningful to open shop at all. But God's timing is impeccable, and just before things got really out of hand in the fall, the lease in our first shop, in hard-hit Causeway Bay, expired, so we retreated relatively unscathed.

Meanwhile, we were invited to consider a new location in a residential area - larger, cheaper and with more assured foot-traffic, slated to open just in time for Christmas. But the protests were still raging, and business was down by at least a quarter. Who in their right mind would have the wherewithal to open a new restaurant during such uncertain times? I decided to be blunt with God – "Please don't make me guess Your will," I prayed. "I will just take what You give me, so please just open the door if You want me to walk through it and shut it if You don't."

As it turned out, God gave us not one, but two new shop spaces in a span of three months. Not only were we able to seamlessly transition our staff from the old shop to the new one, we even managed to redeploy some of our costly kitchen equipment. Unfortunately, the euphoria of opening a new shop during the Christmas respite was short-lived. One month later, just as we were about to commence the renovation for the second new shop, COVID-19 began to spread. I found myself juggling staff salaries, vendor payments and renovation bills as business started declining, slowly at first, and then nearly grinding to a halt as the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic in mid-March.

All the while, I was not even physically in Hong Kong, having gone to the US to visit my teenage sons for spring break. Zoom, WhatsApp and FaceTime became my remote crisis management tools as I conferred with colleagues into the wee hours. But once again, God came through. Government subsidies came in the mail to replenish dwindling cash reserves. Our new Restaurant Licence was granted on time despite diminished government working hours. Furniture crossed the border from Shenzhen without issue. And the whole family arrived back in Hong Kong before mandatory quarantine was imposed, healthy and in time for the shop opening in late March. As for our staff, we were able to deploy our surplus manpower from existing shops to the new one, thereby minimizing furloughs and avoiding layoffs.

Business is still down substantially, but knowing that we have an all-powerful, all-knowing and loving God behind us is what helps me sleep soundly at night. I didn't grasp the full meaning when we designed it back in January, but the five loaves and two fish in the mural in our new shop couldn't be more apt. Times may seem tough and our resources may seem scant, but God provides, and he who believes will be filled beyond his wildest expectations.