F&B outlets in CBD hardest hit as people avoid social gatherings

F&B outlets in CBD hardest hit as people avoid social gatherings

A spokesman for Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant in One Fullerton said business fell by about 35 per cent over the past two weeks.

SINGAPORE – Eateries have seen a drop in business over the last two weeks, following the Government’s advisory on Sept 6 for the public to cut down on social gatherings.

The impact was felt most among food and beverage outlets in the Central Business District (CBD), especially on weekdays with workers working from home.

But those outside the CBD said the drop was bigger on weekends with more families staying home.

A spokesman for The Crystal Jade Group said that business has dropped by about 15 per cent across all its different brands, with some cancellations at the upmarket restaurants that take advance bookings.

It operates close to 20 Chinese eateries here.

These include fine-dining Crystal Jade Golden Palace in Paragon and the mass market Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao outlets.

With many of its eateries outside the CBD in places like VivoCity, Holland Village and suburban malls, the impact on its bottom line is greater on weekends.

A spokesman for Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant in One Fullerton, which also owns the trendy Chinese eatery Social Place in Forum the Shopping Mall, said business had fallen by about 35 per cent over the last two weeks, with some cancellations from business diners and families.

She added: “We have seen a significant drop in elderly guests, especially those above 50. The diner profile has shifted to a younger one.”

The SF Group, which runs a chain of 12 Collin’s Western restaurants and other mid-priced and mass market brands like Saveur Thai, said the number of walk-in diners has fallen by 25 to 30 per cent across all its brands since Sept 6.

Said its chief executive Collin Ho: “The impact is definitely worse during weekdays. But on weekends, we see less traffic too.

“Outlets in the CBD are hit more, as well as our brands in New Tech Park where the office crowd contributes to a significant portion of the business.”

Mr Robert Chua, the owner of Kam’s Roast in Jewel Changi Airport, said the Hong Kong-style roast meat restaurant has lost about 40 per cent of its business on weekdays and 20 per cent on weekends.

He added: “For dine-in, there has been a decrease in families with kids and seniors. Most tables are now occupied by two or three persons.

“But cancellations were minimal as many of those who make reservations are vaccinated and keen on dining out.”

Mr Kai Koh, founder of the Roast Paradise hawker stall in Old Airport Road Food Centre, said he has lost about 25 to 35 per cent of business as cases spiked.

Business at his Fook Kin Chinese restaurant in Killiney Road has fallen by 60 to around 90 per cent on some weekdays.

“I guess people are more cautious about going out,” he said.

Business owner Ming Tan, in her 60s, who used to visit restaurants with friends two or three times a week, said many of them had cancelled on her as they were afraid to go out.

“Dining out now depends on my friends – who is game and who is not,” she said.

Mr Justin Low, 44, who works as the chief communications officer in an advertising agency, continues to eat out daily at restaurants and foodcourts as he lives alone and does not cook.

He said: “I have been fully vaccinated and as long as I adhere to the measures in place, I try not to worry too much about catching the virus.”

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