Singapore — Politician turned restauranteur Chee Soon Juan is learning the difficulties of running a Food and Beverage establishment, made more intense in such a trying time such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Singapore returning to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) starting from Thursday (Jul 22), the F & B industry is taking yet another blow, given that dining-in options will not be allowed until Aug 18.
The personnel of the eateries that remain open for takeaway and delivery options must continue with regular testing for Covid-19.
Dr Chee, the secretary-general of the Singapore Democratic Party, opened his restaurant Orange & Teal with his wife Mei late last month, calling it a lifelong dream.
And while launching the restaurant has not been without its challenges, it’s obvious from a Facebook post Dr Chee put up on Jul 22 that he is feeling the pinch more than ever.
He wrote that some establishments may not survive.
“For now, many outlets won’t be able to take the withering measures. And it’s not just owners. Employees, who also have bills to pay and mouths to feed, will be laid-off.”
As for Orange & Teal, while restaurant operations have been suspended, they will be offering food for takeaway from 11 am to 8 pm. Moreover, no one at Orange & Teal is losing their job.
“We will not let any of our staff go,” wrote the SDP chief.
He then appealed to the public to continue to support not only his restaurant but other local Food and Beverage establishments as well.
“So we’re counting on you to help keep things going until we can open again in Aug. O&T was set up to have people dine in and experience the ambience. It’s a blow now that you can’t dine in.
But that’s ok, we’ll adapt and continue to grow even in the most challenging circumstances. Like the SDP, pah see buay zhao (even if dead, won’t run away).”
True to form, Dr Chee also took aim at how the government has handled the relaxing and tightening of pandemic restrictions, writing that “the decision-making process by these young ministers are lamentable. But that’s a discussion for a future occasion.”
He asked Singaporeans to do their “part to keep F&B joints across the island to stay afloat” by ordering or buying takeaway.
“If we rally together in such trying times, we can help minimise pain for workers at F&B joints, especially the mom-and-pop stalls at hawker centres. Give them your support,” he added.
The longtime opposition leader seemed to bank on the affection many in Singapore have for him when he wrote, “See you at Rochester Mall and look for the two colours that’ll warm not just your stomachs but, hopefully, your hearts too.”
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