Come 9 August every year, Singapore pulls out all the stops to celebrate National Day. While COVID-19 has put a cork in celebratory occasions, we’ve observed that demand for restaurants continues to be promising. As food remains central to the identity of people living in Singapore, Chope’s white papers reported healthy reservation and delivery numbers during cultural and social happenings — in spite of a pandemic.
Before COVID-19, restaurants have creatively sought out ways to bank in on this public holiday in Singapore to attract a full house. These include coming up with set menus priced to coincide with the age of Singapore, national day-themed cocktails, and fireworks-viewing party packages. But with Singapore scaling down its boisterous performances in light of safe distancing regulations, how will this bode well for restaurants?
Celebrate Singapore’s heritage on social media
The ultimate tool in connecting with diners over a distance, we’ve seen how restaurants took advantage of live streams, user-generated content, and behind-the-scenes content during the circuit breaker and phase 1. The weeks leading up to 9 August is a good time to introduce Singapore-themed content so that your restaurant remains top of mind when diners are planning their celebrations.
While you should #supportlocal all year round, now’s a good excuse to really shift your focus on local producers and farmers your restaurant works with. If your restaurant has several standout local or local-influenced dishes, talk about the roots of the dish and ingredient, tying it back to how they represent your restaurant’s culinary identity.
As relationships continue to be at the core of Singapore’s F&B industry, get contributions from your staff on why they love being part of it. Share photos of industry peers, business partners-turned-friends, and regulars-turned-friends.
Take a spin on a local favourite
Even if your restaurant does not usually dabble in local cuisine, this holiday is a great opportunity to be experimental. Not only will it boost sales, but a well-executed dish is also primed for valuable mentions in the media, who will usually do round-ups of interesting National Day-themed dishes in the weeks leading up to the holiday.
For example, Esquina — a well-loved tapas spot on Jiak Chuan Road — served a Laksa Paella to celebrate National Day in 2019 that incorporated local flavours into Spain’s national dish.
Bring your Singaporean chefs and crew to the forefront
From Michelin star chef Jason Tan (formerly of Corner House) and Peter Chua of Junior to Cheryl Koh of Les Amis and Petrina Loh of Morsels, Singapore isn’t short of culinary stars. National Day is an opportune time to celebrate the unique stories and perspectives of your restaurant’s Singaporean crew by giving them the platform to talk about how their roots have contributed to an illustrious career in restaurants.
Organise collaborations with other local superstars in the scene for both dine-in and takeaway services to cater to the demand during this period.
Add local music to your soundtrack
This period of crisis has really highlighted the need for us to band together and #LoveLocal. This extends to local musicians and artists too! Don’t worry, a National Day soundtrack doesn’t necessarily have to have Kit Chan’s ‘Home’ on repeat (though it still makes us sentimental!). Consider including tunes from local DJs, jazz musicians, and indie bands — you name it, this city has it!
Join the festivities
No one celebrates alone. Look out for opportunities to partner with fellow restaurants and brands who are also marketing the occasion. This National Day 2020, ChopeDeals is partnering with DBS PayLah to retail great offers they can shop for over the long weekend, giving restaurants that extra boost in online sales.