Dim sum brand Red Star says it’s hard to continue: burns S$100K a month, biz falls 90%

Due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, Singapore has had to revert to tightened social interactions and the default state of working from home as part of phase 2 (heightened alert).

Meals in catering establishments (F&B) are prohibited and restaurants can only offer take-away meals and deliveries. In addition, people will be allowed to gather in groups of no more than two, instead of five.

Hooi Kok Wai, co-owner of the 47-year-old dim sum restaurant, Red Star, said in an interview with TODAY that the 80-table restaurant has seen a drastic drop in business since the start of Phase 2 (Alert heightened) .

The heritage dim sum restaurant has been popular among Singaporeans for many years and was even regularly booked for events 15 days a week every month.

However, despite being listed on delivery platforms, the brand saw its revenue drop by 90% during this period.

The 82-year-old chef said the restaurant only receives S $ 2,000 in orders on weekends and no more than S $ 1,000 on weekdays.

In addition, the operating costs of the 80-seat restaurant amount to more than S $ 100,000 every month, especially since it has started paying for Malaysian accommodation among its workforce.

Red Star employs around 50 staff and has not laid off any of them since the Malaysian-Singapore border was closed in March 2020. Hooi said the restaurant has so far cut only 20 to 30 of its staff. part-time and ad hoc staff.

However, he said TODAY that if the current Covid-19 restrictions were extended, he did not believe “it is possible to continue without taking more drastic measures”.

Many hawkers and catering businesses are suffering

Older hawkers who are unfamiliar with computers and social media have been at a great disadvantage since the rules that prevented eating came into effect.

There have been numerous reports of older hawkers struggling to use social media or online delivery platforms to expand their reach. These hawkers are also seeing a considerable drop in attendance due to increased alert measures.

A Channel News Asia report highlighted how a barbecue seafood stand at 85 Fengshan Food Center in Bedok could not even reach S $ 100 in sales in one day.

More recently, it was reported that the heritage brand Swee Kee Eating House was forced to close after being in business for 82 years.

Featured Image Credit: Seth Lui

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Dim Sum brand Red Star says it’s tough to keep going: Burns S $ 100,000 a month, biz drops 90% appeared first on Vulcan Post.

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