When dining-in was banned as part of the circuit breaker measures, many in the food and beverage (F&B) industry suffered huge blows.
In the latest figures released by the Singapore Department of Statistics (June 5 2020), total F&B sales dropped some 53 percent in April 2020 as compared to the same period in the previous year. The restaurant industry, in particular, saw a steep year-on-year fall of 66.9 percent.
As the country transitions from the circuit breaker to a three-phase plan for gradual re-opening, dining in will soon be allowed as part of the country’s Phase 2 measures.
Catching up over a meal will finally be possible, but only in groups of no more than five. Social distancing will also have to be observed, and more regulations are expected to be announced closer to the date, which some say could happen before the end of June.
Restaurants and F&B owners across the country are all busy preparing to reopen their doors, eager to greet hungry diners again.
This could mean spending extra effort reconfiguring seating arrangements and swapping out physical menus for digital ones. As Spa Esprit’s founder Cynthia Chua points out: “A place is never the same without the spirit of the people.”
And beyond the existing rules in place by the local government, restaurateur Adam Chen is also taking cues from other countries.
“We can take lead from countries that have opened up, especially Hong Kong,” he says. “There, tables are set wide apart and there are screens in place.” He will be sourcing for partition screens across his food establishments, which includes Five Bar, Ikki Izakaya, and newly opened Ebisu Bowls.
“The mandatory spacing between tables might be even more comfortable for diners,” he adds.