The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that everyone, from businesses to individuals, has had to adjust to new norms and establish new protocols as we make changes to our lives and livelihood. Our communities in Singapore, too, have had to find ways to adapt in the way we live our lives.

One of the industries hit the earliest, and hardest, was the food and beverage (F&B) sector. Regulations first mandated a safe distance to be observed between diners, which restricted the number of patrons, and subsequently the complete prohibition against dining in, so as to ensure the safety of the community.

It is indeed true then that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Several F&B operators who are tenants in properties managed the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) have since adapted, improvised and innovated to ensure that business not just continues, but would be able to thrive, even in such trying circumstances.

One manner in which such businesses had transformed is the rapid digitalisation of their operations. With food delivery quickly becoming a new norm, online ordering has become a common tool with almost all F&B businesses. These include even stores offering traditional classics, such as the Tiong Bahru Bakery, located in Chip Bee Gardens as well as several other locations around the island.

QR codes are now placed at the entrance of businesses to aid contact tracing efforts via the SafeEntry app

Also, with customers now unable to view the food up front and personally, digital assets such as websites and social media platforms have never been more important for F&B businesses to communicate with customers. Many have also taken this time to “level-up” their photography skills, and have started to display their newfound expertise on their channels. Check them out – they’re bound to leave you salivating and reaching out for your phone to satisfy that craving!

Digitalisation means that these mouth-watering offerings can be delivered to you at the touch of a button

However, there are still those of us who, especially at a time like this, crave for some fresh air and human interaction (with someone else other than those from within their own household, of course!), and would still prefer to head down to F&B outlets for takeaways.

In light of the current situation, many businesses deserve credit for swiftly establishing social distancing measures, and for setting up the SafeEntry app for contact tracing. These measures ensure a safe environment for both patrons and staff while keeping customers’ experiences seamless and enjoyable. To brighten things up, some establishments, such as Da Paolo Dempsey at Tanglin Village, have also shown great resourcefulness and creativity by making full use of its existing decor to demarcate the one metre distance between individuals.

Using the floor tiles as markers for
safe distancing measures is an awesome example of combining aesthetics with social responsibility

The road towards recovery may be a long one, but day by day, we are getting there. With the successful measures being taken to control the spread of virus, more services in addition to those in the F&B sector will open up in the period ahead. Even so, it is likely that social distancing measures may not be going away anytime soon. However, with some imagination and ingenuity—as our tenants have shown—there is nothing to stop us from indulging in our favourite meals while still observing the rules and being socially responsible.

Just some food for thought as we step out of the circuit breaker and into our “new-normal”.


Simon Ong (Chairman)
and Yap Eai-Sy


Nooraini Hamzah


Alif Sutrisno Kasmuri


Cheryl Lim, Adrian Tan,
Vanessa Ching and Arica Lim


Facebook & Instagram @singaporelandauthority

LAND is a quarterly online publication
by Singapore Land Authority (SLA),
55 Newton Road #12-01, Singapore 307987.

For feedback and suggestions,
write to Alif Sutrisno Kasmuri at or
call 1800-3239829