How to save Singapore's restaurants and food businesses during the circuit breaker of COVID-19

How to save Singapore's restaurants and food businesses during the circuit breaker of COVID-19

Ball's in your court

Text: Janice Sim

It's hard to keep count of which day of Zoom meeting it is, as the most of us are still navigating or at least, trying to steer back some normalcy from our past routines back before COVID-19 was a reality. A reality that has since hit hard, with the Singapore government's latest announcement of a circuit breaker — ensuing new measures that calls for all non-essential services to cease operations. And while restaurants and stalls at hawker centers are deemed essential, dine-ins are prohibited, leaving the only option to takeaway and delivery. Basically, it's #StayHome season for everyone who can afford to do so.

Circuit Breaker

For the most of us, it's a month of strategic planning at home — pacing work meetings, drawing a line between the work desk and the couch, and keeping the kids busy with home-based learning. However for F&B operators, it's a month of harrowing times at the behest of the new measures. Especially since people typically head to restaurants to relish in a change of scenery, bask in stellar service, and tuck into hot plates served up à la minute. With that peachy scenario out of the picture, it's hard to imagine how most of them will tide through the next month.

Before the circuit breaker, the F&B scene already took a major hit.

Save F&B

But even more so, during this difficult time, it's entirely up to us —as patrons — to save them from the repurcussions of the circuit breaker. For the most part, we wish for our favourite food haunts to survive this challenging season and remain in operations when all of this is over.

Takeout at least once a day

Almost every restaurant has a takeout option now. Get a takeout in your neighbourhood at least once a day — preferably a different place everyday (whether it's a bistro or a food stall at a hawker center). Human contact would be minimal and you can cope with cabin fever with a brisk walk or a short drive while you're at it. Of course, make the neccessary precautions of wearing a mask, slapping on santitiser (and sunscreen).

The Paper Bunny

If you don't want to leave the home, opt for deliveries

Here's where you can support restaurants that aren't entirely within your neighbourhood — as a result, a wider reach is available. More restaurant options are now on Deliveroo and Foodpanda while some restaurants have already implemented delivery services on their own channels. Apart from that, there are also movements like MyTreat. All it takes is an act of kindness towards someone you care about by sending them a meal via island-wide deliveries.

Spread the word on social media

Social media has never been more pivotal — especially when you've got all that extra time. From getting a workout in from your resident gym to documenting the latest coffee trend, tap on your personal reach (no matter how small or big that might be). Share photos of your food deliveries, repost stories on Facebook, tag restaurants, and rally your followers to do the same.

Home delivery service

Follow local chefs and the restaurants online

With social distancing measures strengthened, get the latest updates from restaurants and chef-owners themselves via their social media handles. It's also where you can find out more information regarding their delivery services and also a good reminder to support these establishments and their good grub, even if it isn't served on a silver platter during the circuit breaker. On top of that, don't be a stranger — send across messages of love and light to lift their spirits up during this time.

Be a part of ongoing communities

It's humbling and heartening to see unity and generousity in times like these, as some might be in more need than others during this time. Thanks to the Internet, there are a couple of groups that you can be a part of, whether it's an ongoing thread of hawkers and small businesses who have no means of advertisement or purchasing a gift card from ChopeandSave for someone that needs it.