Singapore’s Barbary Coast providing free staff meals to local f&b community
Barbary Coast’s late night industry supper provides free meals to the wider hospitality community during tough times. By Holly Graham.
Stating the devastatingly obvious, COVID-19 is crippling many industries, especially f&b. Many have lost jobs, had venues temporarily shut down or are working reduced hours. In an effort to support the Singaporean hospitality community, Barbary Coast has launched a late night industry supper to provide free meals to Singapore’s f&b industry – open to anyone from any restaurant, cafe, bar or hotel, including everyone from front of house to back of house, cleaners and office managers, and especially those whose venues have been closed due to government requirements.
The Barbary Coast team proposed the idea in a group chat of Singapore bartenders, and initially meals were priced at cost for SGD$7 plate. Many began volunteering to pay for plates or privately donate to those in need, resulting in the coverage of 600 plates, equalling 20 free plates per night for 30 days.
Barbary Coast are welcoming anyone from Singapore’s f&b industry to come and dine. To do so, guests have to RSVP via the venue’s WhatsApp (+65 8869 4798) for a plate between 5pm to midnight. As the meals are free, no bill will be given but those that can afford to pay are encouraged to do so, to support more plates in the future.
The supper will take place every Tuesday through Saturday from 1am until close (2am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3am Thursday through Saturday). The Barbary Coast team will post the plate of the day on their Instagram story (@barbarycoastsg) and the first 20 people to RSVP can reserve their free plate. Guests are asked to let the team know how many will be attending from the same venue so they can all be seated together to limit intermingling of groups while Singapore implements social distancing measures.
Barbary Coast co-founders Celia Schoonraad and Michael Callahan pointed out that many venues have had to cut back on staff meals and shifts due to the financial havoc COVID-19 is wreaking, saying they are humbled at the success of the scheme, adding: “We can now offer the wider community a place to eat that was paid for by another, no questions asked.” They also hope the supper will see Singapore’s industry bond further during this tough time.
For those that want to get involved and/or contribute, please email Celia at email@example.com or WhatsApp at +65 8124 0579.
Is your local bar community doing something amazing to support others during this difficult time? Email holly(at)drinkmagazine.asia to share your story.