During Covid-19, thousands of businesses dropped the ball on employees, especially in the F&B industry.
But one of the few businesses which not only survived but seem to thrive is Mark Lee’s chicken rice stall.
ChickyLiceLuvver45: Wait, Mark Lee has a chicken rice stall? Isn’t he just old-school?
You mean Old Town?
ChickyLiceLuvver45: Yeah, that.
Nope, turns out he has a chicken rice business as well called 13 Stages.
ChickyLiceLuvver45: You learn something new every day.
Chicken Rice Business Thriving On Delivery Orders
When CB measures kicked in, F&B owners found themselves sinking, including Mark Lee.
In a phone interview with 8Days, he said that his business dropped by “50 to 60%”.
He immediately jumped onto delivery platforms and closed one of his two outlets, leaving one branch at Kallang Wave Mall to operate.
It helps that his staff was “understanding” as well and “adjusted well” even if they have to “change their job scopes”.
Retrenchment is not something he wants to explore as he empathises with the F&B staff.
Business Picked Up Soon After
Now, 13 Stages’ business is starting to catch up and they’re looking at a “20 to 30%” dip from their usual crowds.
In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic might have a silver lining.
More customers are coming to know about 13 Stages, he said, and unlike the past where people don’t want to drive all the way to Kallang Wave Mall for chicken rice, more are willing to get it delivered to them.
Sometimes, there are so many orders that his wife has to drive around and personally deliver the food as well.
The New Norm
Mark Lee is looking at switching to delivery for the next three to six months since it’s “likely” that people will still not want to dine-in, and many will still be working from home.
He said that the Covid-19 pandemic creates problems which every F&B business is facing, and it’s a matter of “reacting quickly”.
“Just Do It” (Sorry, Nike)
The Covid-19 outbreak is something that’s never been experienced before in Singapore.
Unlike the past, don’t expect the government to become your safety net.
No, not I say one, it’s the minister who said it.
Take whatever help is on the table but don’t expect more to be given more because every business’s as needy as yours right now.
Maybe it’s time to be like Mark Lee and explore every alternative, no matter how implausible, that’s available.
After all, they say F&B outlets are going to die this circuit breaker and Mark Lee came out to say he’s doing pretty well.
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