'Once again, empty tables': Eatery with differently-abled staff appeals for help online

PHOTO: Facebook/Dignity Kitchen

The many rounds of Covid-19 restrictions have left most of us feeling exhausted and one of the hardest-hit sectors is the F&B industry.

Dignity Kitchen, a food court at Boon Keng that employs differently-abled folk, is one establishment that is feeling the effects. In fact, business is so bad that they took to Facebook yesterday (Sept 27) in hopes of getting some support from the public.

"Once again empty tables at Dignity Kitchen," read the post, which was accompanied by a series of photos showing the ghost town-like premises.

One photo also showed the staff lined up behind the counters, patiently waiting for customers.

The post was met with a swell of online support — at the time of writing, it has accumulated over 1,400 times and over 100 comments.

A number of netizens promised to pay the food court a visit in their free time.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

Some netizens even chimed in to recommend their favourite menu items.

PHOTO: Screengrab/Facebook 

If you prefer not to dine-in, they also have takeout and bento menus with halal offerings and vegetarian options.

Each bento costs $10 per pax. Options include baked chicken with mixed spices and pan-seared fish fillet with teriyaki sauce.

And if you order a minimum of 10 sets, you'll enjoy a discounted pricing of $8 per pax.

There are also a la carte items such as nasi lemak with fried chicken ($4), kolo mee ($5) and chicken chop ($6.50).

Conceived in 2006 and established in 2010, Dignity Kitchen is Singapore's first social enterprise kitchen. It was founded by Koh Seng Choon, who used money from his savings, a re-mortgaged property and his late mother's inheritance to fund the project.

The brand's mission, according to their website, is to "restore dignity to the differently-abled and disadvantaged through vocation with passion".

This isn't the first time the business has gone through a rough patch. When Koh first started Dignity Kitchen's first outlet at Balestier Road, he says he made zero sales because his trainees wore badges that stated their disabilities and customers would avoid them. Some customers would even ask if they would "die from eating the food".

Today, the social enterprise has grown to include Dignity Learn, a hawker training school for unemployed adults with special needs, and Dignity Mama, a second-hand bookstore.

Address: 69 Boon Keng Rd, #01 Red Building, Singapore 339772