Have you sounded out your 4 other foodie kakis for 12 July? If you have been looking forward to dining in for a bigger group, your prayers have been answered. ICYMI, dining in restrictions are set to ease further come Monday – with group limit for dining in increasing to 5. The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry is probably gearing up with this announcement.
In a bid to bring down the Covid-19 community cases previously, Singapore announced Phase 3 Heightened Alert in mid-May. Unlike the circuit breaker last year when only essential ones were allowed, the Heightened Alert Phase offered some room for gatherings and events but with stricter limits.
During the HA phase, People were urged to minimise social interactions and stay home as much as they can, and dining out was prohibited. From 21 June, dining in resumed but only for groups of 2. The latest announcement of the easing of restrictions is a very much welcomed one for many F&B operators.
Indeed, figures from the Department of Statistics Singapore showed that the pace of growth of F&B sales has slowed although the sector saw positive year-on-year growth. While sales have risen slightly after dine-in rules were eased in mid-June, this sector has some way to go before recovery to pre-Covid levels.
Well-being of Workers in the F&B Industry
In the midst of all these uncertainties, many workers in the F&B industry are also worried about job security. The F&B sector is among the sectors with many lower-wage workers.
Thankfully, the Tripartite Workgroup on Lower-Wage Workers, is exploring ways to improve the well-being of such workers. One approach is to extend the progressive wage model (PWM) to the food services sector, where wages rise along with skills training and rise in productivity levels. The PWM currently benefits 85,000 workers from the cleaning, security and landscape sectors.
Now, NTUC has been actively pushing for a PWM in food services since 2018, but there have been challenges getting buy-in due to the wide range of types of establishments in the industry. The hard work goes on.
A PWM to cover low-wage workers in the F&B sectors will be a good move in the right direction to support workers in the industry. The past year hadn’t been easy for many in the F&B sector. Meanwhile, with the further easing of dine-in rules set to take effect this coming Monday, there seems to be a good chance that the sector may see a jump in sales in the Q3 and Q4.
Recovery to pre-Covid levels will likely take some time. On our part, let’s show some love for your favourite F&B operators and support the F&B industry!
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