This year has been tough on the local F&B players, especially restaurateurs. It appears that it will take quite a while for them to return to their glory days as the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic since early last year continue to loom.

However, market analysts believe things are looking up now, as vaccination rates rise, resulting in the gradual opening of borders and relaxing of social distancing measures. Today, groups of up to five vaccinated individuals are able to dine together, and Singapore has opened up vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) with over 20 countries, with more to come.

The way Paul Chew, head of research at Phillip Securities Research, sees it, the worst may be over. However, restaurants will take some time to return to pre-pandemic levels as social distancing measures are still in place, implying that the seating capacity is cut by around 20% to 30%.

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