Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Trade and Industry how does the Ministry intend to support food caterers with their slower recovery compared to other F&B businesses.
Oral Answer (to be attributed to Minister of State for Trade & Industry, Culture, Community and Youth, Ms Low Yen Ling)
1. We fully recognise that this is a challenging period for F&B businesses, including the catering subsector. That is why under the support package for Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), all F&B businesses, including caterers, will receive 60 percent wage support under the Jobs Support Scheme.
2. However, even as we gradually reopen the economy in a safe manner, caterers may not be able to revert entirely to their pre-pandemic modes of operation as consumer preferences change. This is why we have been encouraging and supporting food caterers to embark on transformation efforts and develop new business models or diversify into new businesses.
3. One caterer that has ventured into new business concepts is Kitchen Haus Group. With funding support from Enterprise Singapore’s Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), the company launched their cloud kitchen concept and virtual brand “Gourmet Xpress”, which offers ready-to-eat products. This has opened new growth opportunities and customer groups for the company. The EDG and other government schemes work together to help firms diversify their businesses, deepen their capabilities and develop talent. I encourage other food caterers to tap on these schemes to seek new opportunities in an evolving environment and strengthen their resilience for the future.
4. Enterprise Singapore will continue to work closely with industry partners such as the Association of Catering Professionals, as well as the relevant government agencies, to help the catering industry emerge stronger from COVID-19.