It’s undeniable that the pandemic has brought F&B businesses to their knees, most of which had to improvise and adapt in order to navigate unpredictable dining restrictions. I’m sure you’ve headed out for a meal once or twice and noticed that your favourite restaurant’s gone through a makeover. On that list is Seoul Garden, a well-known Korean grill chain that’s beloved by Singaporeans everywhere. It’ll be incredibly difficult to find someone unfamiliar with Seoul Garden, especially with the snaking lines at buffet counters and plates piled high.
After more than three decades of enabling cheat days and giving Singaporeans food comas with their all ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet, Seoul Garden is overhauling their business model as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic had made it a difficult feat to offer buffet lines, and as of yesterday 19 August 2021, all seven outlets are now operating on an a la carte menu instead.
Seoul Garden’s switch is in line with Singapore’s road map to an endemic COVID-19, having dealt with the past 18 months of changing dining restrictions and guidelines. This switch also aims to provide diners with a safer and healthier dining experience, even as our vaccinated population grows steadily.
This switch also presents another benefit—Seoul Garden’s a la carte menu also seeks to reduce the amounts of food wastage frequently generated at buffet restaurants. In pivoting away from buffet offerings, the restaurant aims to respond to the calls to reduce food waste globally.
Seoul Garden also recognises that that food waste “does not resonate with the ethical, environmental, and social concerns of a growing group of socially-conscious diners”, and hopes that the revamped menu will create an environment that’s more eco-friendly and safe.
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