- POSTED: 25 Dec 2013 00:24
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Some companies are cutting back on their year-end party spending as their headcounts shrink, caused by the tough business environment in Singapore.
SINGAPORE: It is the time of the year when companies wind down and go out with staff for a meal. But it is not all joy for some companies.
Some HR experts and food caterers say some companies are cutting back on their year-end spending, as their headcounts shrink.
Having lunch or dinner at a private dining room at the Marina Bay Sands can cost around S$7,500 to S$10,000. However, this does not deter companies from holding their year-end parties at such a venue, helping to boost demand for private dining rooms at Marina Bay Sands.
“We can see the week before Christmas or 10 days before Christmas, corporations are getting together with lunches or dinners. At this time of the year, you also see the lunch period getting longer. Instead of a business lunch that takes one hour, it can easily take two hours at this time of the year -- they are more comfortable,” said Tamir Shanel, vice-president for F&B at Marina Bay Sands.
Marina Bay Sands observed that corporate bookings for its private dining rooms were being made as early as in March.
Caterer Neo Group also observed that buffet orders this year were being made earlier, starting from October.
However, the Catalist-listed caterer said some companies catering for more than 300 people have cut their spending by up to 15 per cent this year.
While the economy has improved, some human resource experts say many companies have been hit by the rising cost of doing business, as the business environment in Singapore remains tough.
Still, there are companies which keep to their tradition but corporate spending has been kept at about the same level as in 2012.
“I certainly don't expect organisations to spend more on parties this year than in previous years, given the current economic climate,” said Joel Hides, associate director at Roberts Walters Singapore.
“Most organisations are fairly conservative. Typically, spending is on lunches and dinners, often drinks are involved; perhaps a bit more extravagant if partners are involved or families are invited to parties. But I don't expect there to be an increase in spending this year. If probably anything, I would expect it to be less than in previous years.”
Besides companies getting together for a meal, HR experts say other ways to engage staff and boost morale during the year-end festive season is to get employees do more charitable work or undertake corporate social responsibility activities.