Thailand has announced an emergency state of affairs, signalling city-wide closures of most department stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The case for #SocialDistancing is a strong one — staying home can save lives, and goes a long way when it comes to flattening the curve against the Covid-19. Still, it’s a double-edged sword for our local business owners. With Bangkok on de facto lockdown, our hospitality and F&B industries bear the brunt of its effects.
At a time when local drinking and dining establishments are dealing with the weight of rental payments, monthly costs, and dropping revenues, now marks a good time for us to extend a hand to save our favourite restaurants, bars, and lifestyle outlets. We’ve put together a list of simple steps we can all take to help the industry, while staying safe, healthy, and socially responsible. Every baht and gesture counts — and on the plus side, it doesn’t hurt to splurge on some good food while you’re #WFH, no?
Get it to-go
While restaurants can no longer serve dine-in customers, don’t let the overturned tables and chairs fool you — they’re probably still open for takeaway. Do keep in mind, of course, to take social distancing measures when you’re out of the house. Keep your face masks on, don’t forget your hand sanitiser, and treat yourself to take-out from your favourite restaurants in town. Some places are also offering special promotions for patrons who opt for dishes to-go — Luka, for instance, is serving their breakfast, brunch, and dinner menus at 15% off for those who takeaway.
On another note, a lot of pretty exciting names are hopping on the takeout bandwagon for the first time — including the likes of Jay Fai and Mahasan, which are known for being notoriously difficult to book. This could be a great time to try out some places you’ve always had on your bucket-list, but never got around to visiting because of the long reservation queues.
Don’t want to leave the house at all? Don’t worry. In the face of Coronavirus-related restrictions, delivery services in Bangkok are soaring, meaning you don’t actually have to set foot out of home to enjoy what’s outside. Browse through the constantly increasing options available on Grab eats, Lineman, and Food panda — though, of course, the best way to really support our local restaurants is by ordering from them directly, to avoid the third-party app cuts. If you’re trying to be extra careful, get your courier to leave the food hanging at your gate — don’t forget to sanitise, dispose of the packaging, and wash your hands before your meal. Not sure what options you’ve got? Check out our list of Bangkok’s best upscale restaurants offering delivery here.
Pre-purchase vouchers/gift certificates
If your favourite venues are closed, check to see if you can purchase a gift voucher instead, to use when the situation improves. This is especially relevant to the local bar scene, as all bars and entertainment venues have been legally required to shut temporarily. In light of these Covid-19 closures, many restaurants and bars are selling special gift vouchers that’ll give you a little more in return, once they’re back up and running. Teens of Thailand and Asia Today, for instance, are offering ‘Drink Vouchers’ that give you any drink on the menu at a price of just THB220 — with no expiry date to boot.
Tropic City is also offering ‘Gift Vouchers from the Tropics’, which comes at three different prices. THB1,000 gets you THB1,200 to spend, while THB5,000 gets you THB6,500.
Food-wise, Foodie Collection has launched a series of gift vouchers for 80/20, Vesper, il Fumo, La Dotta, and 1919. Valid for half a year from the date of purchase, packages range from THB2,000 (comes with an extra THB500), to THB50,000 (comes with an extra THB25,000) — don’t worry, the vouchers come separated into THB1,000 and THB1,500, so you can enjoy them separately in all of their award-winning outlets.
Value for money aside, these vouchers are a key source of income for many restaurants and bars during this trying time, when daily operations have been required to cease. As our local drink and dine outlets continue hustling to stay afloat, you purchasing a few prepaid gift certificates could make a big difference in supporting their hard work, so you can frequent them once again when this is all over.
Show them some love on your socials
With a lot of us discovering that we’ve got much more free time on our hands, social media is — if possible — more active than ever, buzzing with Instagram story challenges and celebrity TikTok videos. As you continue creating great content for your feed, help spread the word on delivery offers, special discounts, and gift certificates for your beloved dining outlets.
At a time when morale in the hospitality/F&B industry isn’t exactly at its highest, shoutouts from regulars and loyal patrons could also go a long way in encouraging venues to keep striving.
Support their cause
Reminding us that, in face of dark hours, the only way out is to push through together, several dining establishments have joined the ongoing trend of CSR initiatives to combat Covid-19. For instance, Haoma is spearheading a ‘No One Hungry’ project that aims to provide meals to the unemployed. Bo.lan is also offering delivery for fresh produce and groceries, along with cooking guides, as a means to support local farmers. Take the time to look into what initiatives are currently happening, and how you could also do your bit in giving back.