Even Michelin-Starred Chicken Rice Stall is Affected by COVID-19 as Sales Dropped by 60%

It’s not an unknown fact that businesses have been affected by the rampant spread of the COVID-19 infection.

Previously, we talked about how many hawker centres have been seeing a fall in their income because more and more people are choosing to buy groceries and cook at home instead of eating out.

Chinatown Complex Food Centre is another hawker centre that used to be bustling with so many tourists and locals alike in search of good food, but after the outbreak of COVID-19, there were significantly fewer patrons at the hawker centre.

Business has become so bad that…

Even Michelin-Starred Chicken Rice Stall is Affected by COVID-19 as Sales Dropped by 60%

Liao Fan Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle is a Michelin-starred chicken rice stall opened by Chef Chan, and an interview with him revealed that his hawker stall used to have very long queues.

Not familiar with him? Then this image should help:

Image: liaofanhawkerchan.com

He said that even when they’re supposed to close at 3pm, they will only officially close their stall at 4pm because there are still customers queuing to buy their food.

However, with the COVID-19 outbreak, his sales have dropped by 60%.

Even his air-conditioned restaurant that he opened on Smith Street has seen a drop in the number of customers. It used to be packed with tourists and locals eager to eat his best-selling chicken rice, but he believes that tourists are now too afraid to stay too long in the Chinatown area.

Chef Chan revealed that now that his turnover has decreased, labour costs have become relatively much higher.

The restaurant has stopped hiring part-time employees, but he tries not to fire any of his staff because it took him a long time to train them, and good employees are hard to come by.

He said, “We do not force our employees to take unpaid leave. We hope that all our staff will understand that if they are doing good financially, and feel that they want to rest, they should try to take as much leave as possible.”

Furthermore, Chef Chan also remarked that these days, they would often close their restaurant early because they know that there won’t be any more customers waiting for their food like last time, where they would queue even though it was past the operating hours.

Well, on the bright side, foodies can now try a Michelin-starred dish without queuing liao.

Measures Taken During This Critical Period

As this is a very critical period, the restaurant is also taking steps to ensure that environmental hygiene is more strictly observed.

It ensures diligence in disinfecting all common areas of the restaurant, and also requires all employees to take their body temperatures three times a day. With that, they will be given a badge that says that they are healthy enough to serve so that customers can have a peace of mind.

It is sad to see many businesses get affected by COVID-19, but let’s continue to have hope that we won’t lose this battle against the infection.

We can and will overcome this!

Image: Giphy

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