Singaporeans make moves to help boost F&B business
Volunteer culinary students and social media initiatives aim to boost business
From offering free labour to free social media platforms, more Singaporeans are coming up with ground-up initiatives to #savefnbsg during the circuit breaker period.
These include ProjectCBK (Circuit Breaker Kooks), a joint effort by Mr Dylan Ong, owner of The Masses restaurant, and Mr Joel Tan, a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) student.
Initially, Mr Tan and a part-timer had been willing to work for free at The Masses to help out in what has become the toughest time the local food and beverage industry has faced because of the Covid-19 outbreak.
However, Mr Ong told The New Paper he decided to divert such services to cafes, restaurants and hawker stalls that are "down to their bare bones" and need all the help they can get.
So far, ProjectCBK has 23 volunteers, consisting mainly of culinary students from CIA, the Institute of Technical Education and polytechnics.
They work based on their availability, two to three times a day, at designated outlets, which are "encouraged to give them any form of remuneration", said Mr Ong.
Mr Kai Koh, director of Cantonese roast meat restaurant Fook Kin, told TNP: "It is really helpful because we are currently lacking manpower, and these culinary students help with the basics such as preparing ingredients and making rice and noodles."
Mr Ong added: "The younger generation are really showing their love for hospitality and the food business. They are willing to help for free, it is very meaningful and I am touched."
Mr Melvin Chew is also trying to help.
The owner of Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap created Facebook group Hawkers United - Dabao 2020, with the aim of showcasing all hawkers who are offering delivery and takeaway services so that customers can search for them easily. It currently boasts more than 200,000 members.
He said: "I wanted to help other hawkers by bringing them all to one place and promoting their food.
"One even asked us to take down their post as they started to face an overwhelming response and could not cope with the orders."
Online community marketplace Carousell has also partnered Unilever Food Solutions to getmore than 2,500 F&B businesses onto its newly created Local F&B category, at no extra cost.
The process ensures that business owners who have not had prior experience with online operations are still able to list on Carousell for increased visibility and thus be able to provide on-demand takeaway services without having to pay a premium or commission to external vendors.
Liang Guang Seafood Soup owner Wei Cheng: "Many food stall owners like us are not equipped for delivery services, so we can work with only what we have to reach out to the neighbourhood.
"We really appreciate Carousell's initiative to provide a platform. Any visibility during this time is extremely important and we are banking on local support from those around us."