The Food & Beverage industry has faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look at the creative solutions some outlets here have come up with to stay on top of the situation.
The F&B sector has been hit hard by COVID-19. When the Circuit Breaker was implemented, dine-in restrictions led to a loss of customers and a huge dip in revenue. However, many restaurants and bars have since seen an improvement in business by adapting to the new environment.
To continue driving revenue while practising safe distancing, restaurants and even hawker stalls have embraced technology in a number of ways, such as contactless payment, smartphone ordering, or restaurant automation.
As most restaurants reopen fully, some customers are willing to eat out and return to previous dining habits. However, others who have been ordering food delivery may still prefer to dine from the convenience of home. To cater for this, many restaurants have partnered with food delivery platforms or set up their own online ordering systems.
NEW REVENUE STREAMS
Certain operators, such as Kingdom of Belgians and Beats, Bites and Cocktails, have developed fresh revenue streams. The former, a popular bistro serving Belgian fare, has partnered gourmet grocer LPB Market to offer a French grocery experience within its premises. The grocery corner spans 30sqm and features a rotating selection of more than 50 different types of artisanal cheeses, along with other products like charcuterie, fresh dairy, meat, and award-winning wines.
To make up for the 10.30pm restrictions that adversely impacted their business, gastrobar Beats, Bites and Cocktails opened a retail corner within their space to sell bottles of spirits, liquor and wine.
Some outlets, such as The Old Man Singapore, have created innovative concepts to attract customers. Its ‘Bars Unknown’ tour is a collaborative series of pop-ups that feature signature cocktails from participating barsaround the world. With international leisure travel off the cards, guests dreaming of their next getaway have the chance to sample libations from well-loved establishments, such as Connaught Bar, El Copitas, Maybe Sammy, Himkok, and others.
Scheduled on every first and last week of the month at The Old Man Singapore, each pop-up will showcase two signature cocktails from the featured establishment of the week. “The bar community is a very tight-knit one; with varying degrees of curfews and lockdowns imposed in different parts of the world, it is important for us to continue to stand in solidarity during this time. We hope to send some love and support their way by collaborating with some of our dearest friends from bars around the world, and share their signature creations beyond the borders,” explains Andrew Yap, the bar’s Managing Partner.
At Cure, chef-owner Andrew Walsh has introduced Irish cuisine — dubbed ‘Nua’ — into his restaurant to bring a taste of Ireland to Singapore and satisfy the longings of those who miss the opportunity to travel and enjoy cuisine from other countries. Chef Andrew hopes that the new menu will allow guests to learn more about Irish history through the produce and through his take on the cuisine of his homeland.
As these outlets have demonstrated, many F&B players here are evolving and changing to meet the whirlwind of challenges they have been confronted with. Embracing technology, going digital, and being willing to innovate are clearly the way forward for F&B outlets to grow their customer base and thrive in the new normal.