Buffets return to S'pore, but self-service still not allowed

Food served to you sounds like better service.

Belmont Lay | April 13, 2021, 12:23 PM

Buffets have resumed in Singapore more than a year after they were stopped when the circuit breaker period kicked in on April 7, 2020.

However, they have been restarted with safety measures in place.

Staff-served lines

Staff-served food lines have resumed as of Monday, April 12, at food and beverage outlets, corporate and work-related events, and events in the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (Mice) industry.

But buffets at weddings, funeral services and social activities within corporate settings are still not permitted.

This is according to guidelines sent out by the Association of Catering Professionals Singapore.

Some buffets that have restarted include Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts and StraitsKitchen at the Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Diners cannot have contact with food

These measures mean that diners must not have contact with food.

Servers will be in charge of dishing out the fare.

Plastic shields or other barriers, such as sneeze guards, are to be placed over the food served and servers must wear masks and cannot handle the food with their bare hands.

Desserts can be selected from a dessert trolley that moves around the dining area, while beverages are served at the table after they are ordered through a digital menu.

Diners queueing for food must also have their masks on.

They must maintain a 1m distance from the next person in queue.

There must also be a 1m distance between the queue and the nearest seated diner.

The establishments go as far as ensuring one server assisting each diner per buffet line to ensure that plates are not passed back and forth between various staff members and diners, The Straits Times reported.

Other rules

Corporate and Mice events have additional rules.

For corporate events, each food line can serve up to only 50 people and no mingling is allowed.

A safe management representative must be present.

For Mice events, attendees are split into zones of up to 50 attendees.

Each cohort among the 50 attendees can have up to 20 people.

The same cohort must join the same food queue.

If a single food line is used, attendees from different zones cannot be served at the same time.

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