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Extension of dining-in ban in Singapore causes change in Father’s Day plans; restaurateurs hoping business will pick up

The ban on dining-in at eateries and restaurants in Singapore has been extended by the government till June 21 which has led some people to tweak their plans for Father’s Day on June 20.

Restaurateurs are still hopeful that there will be an increase in the number of bookings over the next few weeks.

The restaurant industry has seen a 75 percent dip in revenue on an average since heightened alert has been implemented during the phase two of Covid-19 in the country.

After the government announced the ban on dining-in restaurants till June 20, many restaurants had to suffer restaurant cancellations for Father’s Day. Keng Eng Kee Seafood restaurant in Bukit Merah had to cancel a large number of Father’s Day celebration reservations.

People are taking to ordering in and small get togethers at home to celebrate the occasion.

The Government’s Covid-19 task force had earlier imposed the dining-in ban till June 13 but due to the spike in community cases, it extended the restrictions till June 21. Dining-in and food and beverage (F & B) industry will only open once Singapore gradually relaxes safe distancing measures.

Restaurateurs are expecting a large number of people to opt for dine-out once the situation is eased, after being cooped up in homes for so long.

Mr Colin Chia, the founder of Nutmeg and Clove at Purvis Street exclaimed that the ban was a two-fold blow for businesses located in the central business district they faced the ban and shortage of working staff as work from home has become a new norm.

He also revealed that even the number of deliveries and takeaways are currently not doing as good as the circuit breaker period last year.

The reopening of restaurants for dine-out business will help owners like Mr. Chia, who had hired new staff, before the ban started, to avoid layoffs. In order to service a greater number of workers returning back to offices in neighbouring areas at the end of April for lunch on weekdays, Mr. Chia had hired new staff. The restaurant did its research and expected roughly 60 percent of office workers to return back to work between the end of April and beginning of May.

With the kicking in of the second phase of coronavirus, he had to bear the extra cost for two employees while the business was still sluggish.

On the brighter side, Chope Singapore, a website that takes reservations across some 1700 restaurants in Singapore received around 8000 bookings on 12th June as the dining-in ban was supposed to be lifted on 13th June earlier.

Restaurant discount deals platform Fave has seen a 10 percent rise in F&B deals sold on its platform since the last three to four days. Ouando, a popular restaurant reservation platform has reported that although there is no noteworthy increase in activity on the platform yet, it anticipates diners to start making reservations soon.

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