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Restaurants give back and do good amid COVID-19 uncertainty

30 March 2020

By: Adibah Isa

In the doom and gloom surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, restaurants across Asia find heart in doing good and giving back to healthcare frontliners.

The F&B sector is one of the hardest industries to be hit by the impact of COVID-19 in 2020. But despite a brief moment of despair and panic, restaurants have been credited for their swift agility in managing resources to adapt to the new normal. Whether it’s enforcing new hygiene and social distancing measures, employing mitigating strategies, drumming up business online or providing alternative dining options, restaurateurs have shown that while they can’t stop the waves, they most definitely can learn how to surf.

While the jury’s still out on how effective cost-cutting or revenue-driving measures adopted by restaurants truly are, there are other initiatives that don’t fall in either category: Giving back. Across Chope’s markets in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Hong Kong, restaurants have shown that no adversity can diminish the human spirit. Despite being frontliners themselves (notably the front-of-house staff who come into contact with the public every day), these restaurants are doing good by giving back, even in these tough times.

“The coronavirus situation might have affected F&B business hard but I believe that in times of crisis, we see the best in people,” said chef LG Han of Restaurant Labyrinth, a Michelin star restaurant in Singapore. The restaurant is donating part of their money earned to purchase food for frontliners working at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). “Money might be tight this period, but we have food, and I hope to bond the community through food during these times.”

A similar sentiment is echoed over at Alma by Juan Amador, a Michelin star restaurant in Singapore. The ‘Complimentary Appreciation Lunch Box’ prepared by the kitchen is given out to every worker in the pandemic, ICU, and isolation wards at National University Hospital (NUH).

“It’s not easy. We felt that this is a moment where we need to do something to contribute, ” said acting general manager Gunawan Hadi. “We believe that good food creates strong bonding. This is our way of contributing to society and make Singapore united.”

The kitchen team at Alma by Juan Amador preparing Complimentary Appreciation Lunch Boxes for staff at NUH.

Other initiatives by restaurants in Singapore 

Restaurant Labyrinth, Keng Eng Kee, Jam at Sirihouse, Pezzo Group, and Sanity Coffee have begun pooling their resources to purchase meals for the doctors, nurses, cleaners, admin, service maintenance crew, and staff at NCID. Restaurant Labyrinth and  Jam at Sirihouse have each committed a portion of their sales to purchase the food while Keng Eng Kee had made an upfront donation of $2,000 while matching dollar for dollar in value for any orders placed for delivery to NCID. Pezzo Group has offered 1-for-1 on pizza orders by this group of restaurants. Sanity Coffee has also committed complimentary on an ongoing basis. 

Marina Bay Sands

Healthcare workers are entitled to 50% off the total bill at the following restaurants: Adrift, Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer, Bread Street Kitchen, Club55, CUT, db Bistro & Oyster Bar, LAVO Italian Restaurant & Rooftop Bar, KOMA, Renku Bar & Lounge, RISE, Spago Bar & Lounge, Spago Dining Room, and Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. The promotion is valid from now to 30 June 2020, applicable for dine-in. Diners are also entitled to one complimentary parking coupon for every four diners. Read more

No Sleep Club

The new kid on Keong Saik Road is pulling its weight by offering 20% off all items for medical frontliners. The team are also encouraging diners to #supportlocal with a free shot for anyone with a same-date receipt from any local bar.


From now till 31 March 2020, the casual food kiosk is offering free burritos for anyone in need for a meal from 5pm to 6pm at any of their outlets. The SG Burrito initiative will give out one burrito per person for anyone who, in the kiosk’s own words, “might be having some problems putting food on the table”. 

Summer Hill

The restaurant has opened its alfresco area in between service times for anyone who is working from home to use — no purchase necessary. Patrons are expected to bring their own extension cord, drinks, and to clean up after themselves. Tables need to be returned by 5 pm for the restaurant’s dinner service.

The Privé Group

Every small gesture counts, especially the ones with a personal touch. The team at Privé showed how big their hearts were through a small act of sweetening up the meal of a guest whose trip was cut short. We’re big fans of #randomactsofkindness.

Restaurants in Hong Kong who are giving back

Chrisly Cafe

The cafe is offering a 50% discount for medical workers.

Dignity Kitchen Hong Kong

The restaurant is giving out meals to the elderly who are collecting cartons in the wet market in Mong Kok.


The sandwich chain is offering all Hospital Authority workers a complimentary hot drink. 

Restaurants in Bangkok who are giving back


Chef and owner, Deepanker Khosla, founded the #NOONEHUNGRY fund-raising campaign by providing free meals to workers and families affected by COVID-19.



While Covid-19 has seemingly brought the F&B industry to its knees, nothing can quite extinguish that flame of giving that’s rooted in every service-oriented individual. Check back as we continue to update you with what restaurants across Asia are doing to stand united.

Access our COVID-19 Resource Centre, with guides, infographics, and advisories to equip you with managing and operating your restaurant.


Adibah Isa

A digital and print journalist turned content manager for brands that believe in the power of storytelling.


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