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Phase 2 Dine-in Does Not Mean Business As Usual for All Singapore Restaurants — Here’s Why

Last Updated: June 19, 2020

Written by Felicia Koh

After more than two months of delivery, takeaway and home-cooked meals, the moment which all of us are excitedly anticipating is finally here. Moving into Phase 2 of our nation’s re-opening, it’s time to rejoice as we can now dine-in at our favourite restaurants while catching up with friends and family. 

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Prey to economies of scale

Needless to say, many eateries are fully geared and ready to seat diners once again. However, with the one-metre distancing rule in place, there are also a handful of restaurants still in the dilemma of opening up simply due to economies of scale.

Having to abide by the rules and being required to spread their tables apart, restaurants now can accommodate fewer customers despite having the same operating hours as before.

With the need to still pay a full month’s worth of rent and even hire more servers to accommodate dine-in customers, the ultimate pay-off might be worst than working on delivery and takeaways alone.


With the re-opening set on Father’s Day weekend, restaurants offering Father’s Day meal delivery might be overwhelmed with delivery and takeaway orders.

Opening for dine-in would probably add on to workload on lean kitchen teams, making it more difficult for restaurants to cope with the existing demands. 

Adding to the list of problems are staffing issues in which restaurants with foreign workers face. Since many Malaysian workers have chosen to return home during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period, some owners find it almost impossible to find temporary manpower that can immediately start work during the weekend when dine-in resumes.

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Putting re-opening plans on hold

To some business owners, location is also an important point of consideration determining if their restaurants should open immediately.

With work-from-home policies still in place for many companies located in the CBD district, several restaurants situated in the area have put re-opening on hold simply due to low traffic.

For these eateries, it makes more economic sense for the business to resume only when there is a steady flow of diners when Singaporeans return to their offices. 

If you are pondering whether your favourite restaurant will be reopening today, here is a handful of restaurants that will not be immediately resuming dine-in services for your reference to prevent that wasted trip!

  • Lumo: dine-in resumes on 22 June 2020
  • Riviera Forlino: dine-in resumes on 22 June 2020
  • Basque Kitchen by Aitor: dine-in resumes on 24 June 2020
  • Buona Terra: dine-in resumes on 25 June 2020
  • Rhubarb Le Restaurantdine-in resumes on 25 June 2020
  • Tung Lok Group (TungLok Signatures, LingZhi Vegetarian, Taste by TungLok)dine-in resumes on 1 July 2020
  • Gram Cafe & Pancakes Singapore: dine-in resumes 1st week to July. Please refer to their Facebook and Instagram accounts for their exact reopening date
  • Firebake: dine-in dates to be confirmed. Please refer to their Facebook and Instagram accounts for their exact reopening date
  • The Black Swan: dine-in dates to be confirmed. Please refer to their Facebook and Instagram accounts for their exact reopening date
  • Chef’s Table by Chef Stephan Zoisl: dine-in dates to be confirmed. Please refer to their Facebook and Instagram accounts for their exact reopening date
  • Godmama: dine-in resumes on 22 June 2020

Indeed, the start of Phase 2 marks a joyous occasion that calls for a celebration outside of our homes. As restaurants reopen with brand new dine-in models that might be the new norm going forward, it is also time for us to learn to be a little more patient as we learn to embrace new measures such as SafeEntry and temperature screenings. 

While we get to enjoy ourselves back in restaurants and retail outlets, it is imperative to remember that we are still vulnerable to the pandemic.

So don’t forget to head out with a mask, wash your hands, and abide by social distancing measures when you break free from home starting this weekend!

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