CapitaLand lets food delivery riders eat at designated areas in its 18 malls

An area in Kopitiam at Plaza Singapura, a CapitaLand mall, where staff can have their meals. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - Food delivery riders can now eat in certain shopping malls instead of having to find makeshift spots like stairwells to comply with the ban on dining in imposed on April 7.

CapitaLand, the largest operator here with 18 malls, said it is allowing riders to eat takeaway food at designated areas.

Food delivery rider Michelle Tan, 26, said she hopes more malls will have dining areas for riders and other essential services workers like taxi drivers.

Ms Tan delivers food on a bicycle around Woodlands, where there are no CapitaLand malls nearby, so she has to eat on Housing Board staircases as most seats in void decks have been blocked off.

She said: "I feel like a thief every time I do so because I will have to find a corner and people will keep looking at me... There are still a lot of people who think we are breaking the law by eating outside.

"It will be better if we have a proper place to eat takeaway food so we won't feel like we are breaking the law."

Fellow food delivery rider Mr Manivannan, 39, who goes by one name, said he hopes that riders will keep to safety distancing rules and clear up after themselves so as not to get criticism from the public.

A CapitaLand spokesman told The Straits Times: "We have set up designated dining areas at our premises since last Friday (April 10), so that the malls' essential service workers can take their meals in comfort.

"Food delivery riders with the proper identification can also access the dining areas."

It operates Tampines Mall and Lot One Shoppers' Mall in the heartlands in addition to central city outlets such as Bugis Junction and Plaza Singapura, among others.

The dining areas are mostly set up in the food courts. Malls without food courts have restaurant seating marked as designated eating areas.

"At the designated dining areas, each table can seat only one person and the tables are spread out in accordance with safe distancing guidelines," the CapitaLand spokesman added.

Mall operator Lendlease, which runs four centres, including Jem and 313 @ Somerset, said operational staff such as cleaners already have designated rest areas to eat.

"There has been minimal demand for designated areas for meals from delivery riders and essential services workers," said Lendlease.

Frasers Property Retail, which runs 14 malls such as Causeway Point and Tampines 1, said staff already have dining areas, but it did not elaborate on whether it plans to set up areas for delivery riders.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.