There is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal to elevate the soul in times of trouble. This is probably precisely why home businesses selling a range of home-cooked meals are discovering that their food is in great demand now that another conditional movement control order (MCO) has been announced.
For home business owner Georgina Fernandez Peter, who runs established brand Five and Two Foods (www.fivetwofoods.com) with her husband, the first edition of the MCO already proved this point, as she was literally inundated with orders in March.
“It was mind-blowingly fantastic for us, because nobody wanted to go out and eat. So we had so many orders that we sometimes had to reject customers, ” says Peter, who makes over 150 kinds of home-cooked, freezable meals like hearty Indian chicken soup, palak paneer, sandwich spreads and various other dishes.
Since the conditional MCO was announced, Peter says orders have started pouring in again and having anticipated this, she has already contacted her regular riders and asked them to be on standby.
“My husband is a heart attack survivor, so he is in the high-risk category. So even during the MCO in March we employed riders and gave them shopping lists as it was hard to get to our regular gourmet supermarkets for supplies.
“A lot of the riders have lost their regular jobs and we pay them more than the delivery companies, so they are very happy to do it at this time and it’s our way of giving back to the community, ” says Peter.
To cope with what they foresee will be a flood of orders coming in, Peter will also be introducing a truncated conditional MCO menu, which will streamline their offerings so that they can focus on certain meals only.
“People like to spend on home-cooked meals, so the new menu has been designed so that we can accommodate the orders during this period, ” she says.
Even new home entrepreneurs specialising in home-cooked meals have seen a surge in demand since the conditional MCO was announced.
Bruce Wong set up his food business Wongka in July after losing his job running a co-working space during the MCO. Business has been so good that it is now his full-time job.
After the conditional MCO was announced, Wong says he has had a lot of people calling to order home-cooked meals from him.
“Yes, there are more people calling for orders, but since I work alone, I am capping the orders at 100 every day. I have also called my suppliers just to make sure they can still deliver all my supplies, ” he says.
Wong specialises in meals like Taiwanese braised pork and pork rib curries, which he says are popular with people who work from home (and order meals for the whole week) as well as stay-at-home mums looking for meals for their kids.
Wong thinks that home businesses making home-cooked meals will likely benefit from the conditional MCO, as people are now actively looking for nourishing meals.
“I think it is the new norm now for people to order food and people like home-cooked food because the perception is that it is cleaner. They think ‘Oh, this guy lives here and his wife and kids live there too, so the food is probably cleaner.'
“So people are starting to like these kinds of stories and because of the MCO, people are used to eating meals at home anyway, ” says Wong.
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