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Thu, Dec 24, 2020 – 5:50 AM

UPDATED Thu, Dec 24, 2020 – 9:23 AM

Singapore

HOTELS and restaurants are seeing a spike in festive takeaways this year as dining-in restrictions have forced many to keep their celebrations at home.

This comes even amid the current economic climate, with consumers in Singapore showing little signs of tightening their purse strings.

Carousel, a popular eatery at Royal Plaza on Scotts, saw takeaway sales for the festive period up 31 per cent year on year, said the hotel’s general manager Patrick Fiat.

At Raffles Hotel, festive orders and sales have picked up “significantly” in December. With most families staying home, more guests are opting for the hotel’s home dining gourmet sets and a la carte treats, a hotel spokesperson told The Business Times (BT).

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To give a sense of the demand, the hotel’s Tender Semi Bone in Gammon Ham and Roast Turkey gourmet takeaway options are fully sold out.

Beyond food items, Raffles Hotel is also offering other Christmas specialities such as gifting items, home decor and ornaments to cater to celebratory needs at home.

Under current Phase 2 regulations, no more than five in a group are allowed to dine in at eateries. Alcohol sale and consumption must also stop by 10.30pm.

Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel received an “overwhelming” demand for festive takeaway items, alongside requests for drive-through collection and deliveries, said Owen Cooper, director of food and beverage at Marriott. The bookings also came in earlier this year and at a faster pace, he added.

A Furama Hotels International spokesperson told BT that the current economic situation “may not have deterred celebrants from decking their tables with festive staples”.

Like its peers, the group has seen higher demand for takeaway food items across both its Singapore properties, Furama RiverFront and Furama City Centre. Significant last-minute purchases in the last few days leading up to Christmas were also observed.

“With Covid-19 curbing leisure travel, we saw a strong demand for takeaway goodies, despite it being an extraordinary year. We were able to meet this demand owing to the ease of placing orders through our e-store and delivery service available,” said the Furama spokesperson.

The Les Amis Group, which has 30 establishments under 22 brands in Singapore, said that its dine-in, takeaway and delivery sales are now 15 per cent higher than pre-lockdown period due to increased demand from a larger captive market.

Christmas hamper sets from Tarte and festive bundles from Bistro du Vin, for example, were sold out 2.5 weeks before Christmas.

A Les Amis spokesperson told BT more customers and regulars are also contacting the group’s concepts directly to arrange for self-collection, though delivery options have been more popular.

“Demand has been strong so we have not been conservative with our preparations, though most of our concepts have a limit to their production,” he further said.

Les Amis has been actively growing its delivery and takeaway revenue stream since the lockdown period. More concepts under the group have created menus and offerings to push out for self-collection and delivery amid limited dine-in seating capacity.

Another homegrown operator, Unlisted Collection, has seen a similar increase in festive takeaways. Some of the group’s venues have bumped up their selection of offerings to include family feasts/bundles or sets this year, instead of the usual single-ticket items like ham or turkey.

“Our restaurants are also more equipped for takeaways with the experience of having gone through the ‘circuit breaker’ earlier this year. The travel lockdown for Singaporeans has also contributed to a demand in takeaways this year,” said a group spokesperson.

Anant Tyagi, co-owner of Restaurant JAG along Duxton Road, told BT that its inaugural festive takeaway menu, specifically designed for large families, has sold out. “Through planned outreach, we were able to secure orders well in advance,” he said.

More families and businesses are also turning to food catering services this holiday season.

Rasel Catering, for example, has seen a year-on-year increase in takeaway order for both corporate and home parties. For corporate orders, most companies order bento meals or “goodie packs” for their staff, which are either delivered to the office or directly to their homes, said a Rasel spokesperson.

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