The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a huge toll on our local F&B industry, with eateries reporting a drastic drop in business since most folks are steering clear of crowds. “When business continuity plans got implemented a week after [DORSCON Orange], the [office lunch crowd] plummeted by 50%,” says restaurateur Howard Lo, whose company Empire Eats Group runs eateries like Standing Sushi Bar and Salmon Samurai in the CBD.

His Jewel Changi Airport restaurant Tanuki Raw has also been hit hard by the tourist slump since the novel coronavirus outbreak. “Jewel is still dead, aside from weekends. We’ve been doing some promotions there. Eventually we’ll probably have to get our staff to take unpaid leave, unless we want to do layoffs,” he tells 8days.sg. Meanwhile, our friend who had recently dined at Crystal Jade Palace at Ngee Ann City heard from a staff member that they now work only partial shifts due to a drop in customers.

Tourist hotspots like Orchard Road are especially affected by the lack of human traffic. “[Business] really worsened significantly after code Orange. We were down by 60% for the month of February, so it’s quite bad,” shares Cheng Hsin Yao, who owns F&B enclave Picnic Food Park at Wisma Atria. It houses stalls like Omakase Burger, Riz Labo Kitchen and Brother Cheng’s Chicken Rice.

But it looks like people are gradually feeling confident enough to venture out — over the past weekend, 8days.sg spotted a long queue at Hai Di Lao’s Plaza Singapura branch and sizeable crowds at other malls along Orchard Road, as well as heartland shopping centres like Nex at Serangoon. The Singapore pop-up of Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market at the Turf Club was also packed to the brim with shoppers.

To drum up biz, eateries in Singapore have started offering attractive promotions to entice customers. Below, we have compiled a list of good lobangs to make your makan outings great again.

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