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For the F&B sector, standalone outlets – excluding those in hawker centres, food courts and coffeeshops – that sell only beverages (yes, this means no more bubble tea), packaged snacks, confectioneries or desserts will have to shut down.
Singaporeans were particularly devastated at the news of the temporary cessation of bubble tea stores, resulting in long lines at various stores islandwide so they can get their ‘last’ fix of bubble tea.
If you’re a bubble tea addict and can’t live without it, good news: there’s still a way for you to get your hands on your favourite bubble tea.
It’s not an understatement to say that KOI, Gong Cha and LiHo are the ‘big three’ of bubble tea brands in the Singapore market.
When it comes to brown sugar bubble tea, Taiwanese brand Xing Fu Tang is a very tough contender.
Following the forced closure of bubble tea stores, these brands have come up with a clever strategy to keep selling their beverages.
They have partnered with local F&B outlets — which are still considered an “essential service” — as a workaround.
KOI has partnered with homegrown food delivery startup Grain to sell its bubble tea on its platform.
You can either purchase the drink together with any of Grain’s meals or get it a la carte for an additional fee of $2.
You can order your KOI bubble tea via Grain’s website or app from 11am to 9pm daily. There is a flat rate of $4 for delivery to the East, and a surcharge of $12 for further destinations.
Alternatively, you can also order via GrabFood, which offers islandwide delivery.
Gong Cha has partnered with Professor Brawn Bistro, which is a social enterprise that employs people with special needs.
Gong Cha drinks are only available at its Enabling Village (Redhill) outlet. You must order the drinks along with food, with a maximum of five Gong Cha drinks for every main ordered.
Orders must be placed one day in advance via WhatsApp or SMS to 8321 2204.
Professor Brawn Bistro offers islandwide delivery, but the charges differ depending on the distance. For orders above $50, it will offer free delivery if the destination is less than 15km.
If you stay near Redhill, you can also place your order via GrabFood.
Paik’s Bibim and LiHo shares the same parent distributor in Singapore.
This means that you can get your hands on LiHo drinks at all Paik’s Bibim outlets at Tiong Bahru Place, Vivocity, Bedok Mall and NTU.
They are also available for delivery on GrabFood.
Other F&B outlets that carry LiHo are:
Xing Fu Tang has partnered with The Fish Hut, a local eatery that specialises in fish soup and white bee hoon.
If you’re craving for their brown sugar boba concoctions, you can order them here.
Do note that Xing Fu Tang drinks have to be purchased together with a food item from The Fish Hut. The delivery charge ranges between $4 and $15, depending on the distance.
The cut-off time for ordering is 2pm, but delivery will be made on the same day around 5pm to 6pm.
The ‘circuit breaker’ measure has definitely been a tough time for businesses.
As Singaporeans are urged to stay home, sales have plummeted and with a total closure, this means zero income for affected businesses.
Hopefully, such F&B partnerships will help both bubble tea and F&B brands alike to thrive so it can be a win-win situation. With the increased demand for bubble tea, this strategy can help drive footfall to the struggling F&B businesses as well.
Featured Image Credit: Expat Living Singapore / Gong Cha / Avenue One/ Xing Fu Tang
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