What comes to mind when one thinks of Singapore?
Small, nimble, efficient, fast-paced, expensive?
Likewise, the same adjectives can describe Singapore’s food and beverage industry.
The perennial land scarcity situation has trained Singaporean F&Bs to punch way above their weight. Within a very small area space, grab-and-go kiosks are often able to generate large volume of sales rivalling much larger setups.
Yet, in spite of our success stories, when it comes to the retail landscape as a whole, some say it is diminishing while others believe it is undergoing a necessary transformation. Regardless of the case, the evolving face of retail and unpredictable economic climate pose increasing risks for both new and mature food businesses.
Thankfully, our Government has always been supportive of helping Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) redevelop their core competencies for long-term competitive advantage.
Here are 3 key pointers we believe would be beneficial for the local F&B ecosystem moving ahead:
1. Pursue standardisation in core business models and franchise systems which empower operations to scale locally and internationally
Good Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) empower employees to duplicate good business processes over and again to produce consistent results. With the rise of big data and Internet of Things (IOT), these technologies empower food businesses with crucial business intelligence that enables them to capture the hearts of customers and achieve cost savings. Armed with these insights, it becomes much easier to get investors’ buy-in and to replicate successful models.
While technology can play a strong supporting role, it works best when paired with good human processes. This sometimes involves job redesign processes, which can be costly yet necessary. This brings us to our next point.
2. Working with the relevant resource partners when it comes to cost
To attract entrepreneurs and investors in the face of erratic economic conditions, the Singapore Government has skillfully stitched together a myriad of resource and grant supports.
Replacing the Productivity and Innovation Credit Scheme (PIC), the Productivity Solutions Grant continues its support for the F&B sector with up to 70% funding support. The supported equipment and solutions are often key pieces for the running of an F&B. Another grant that stands out is the Workpro initiative. In 3 parts, it allows for labour to be more creatively managed at the benefit of both employer and employee. Job redesigning helps to optimise existing internal processes, while the initiative also helps companies hire senior workers by introducing age management practices.
Our resource partner, Singapore Productivity Centre (SGPC), has developed the Food Services Job Redesign framework, supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG). The contextualised Food Services Job Redesign by SGPC and WSG, helps F&B companies to implement job redesign in 5 simple steps to improve ROI and hire & retain employees.
3. Having a long-term vision for productivity development
It definitely helps when business owners and investors are realistic when it comes to upgrading or developing core processes. After the early phases of adoption, staff often require retraining to make sure they adhere to new standards and processes. While some of these changes can be implemented at a go, it might be better at other times to break down these changes into phases.
Business owners can often be weighed down by the day-to-day running to have a helicopter view of the business. This is when it is essential to tap on relevant external parties for assistance.
Bearing these 3 points in mind, Chef At Work is glad to do our part in helping our clients achieve strong growth by building systems that are sustainable, operationally efficient and scalable.
With a deep understanding of the F&B industry and the core competencies required at different stages of the business lifecycle, we work closely with our resource partners Singapore Productivity Centre to help our F&B clients narrow down grant options to the most applicable solution. We also have plans to work with e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) to do more.