Singapore went through the COVID-19 disaster and eventually we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Over the past ten months, many organizations are changed and there was a period of several months that we must stay in the home and minimise our trip from the home. As a business, and the customers it is shape our behaviour and leave a long lasting behavioural changes how we dine and how restaurant adapt to the changes.
Obviously, not all the changes are permanent. However, when Singapore and other nations do better than average compare to the planet, COVID-19 remains a threat and no one is exempted from the threat of following wave of disease. And it is also leave us a lesson which open boundaries play a substantial area of the world economic.
In this informative article, we would like to share our opinion about few changes that form the dining behaviour from 2020 and onwards.
The need to change to F&B businesses
Talking about F&b scene in Singapore context, all people understand that Singapore is one of the most internationalised city nation offering diversify choices of foods. The restaurants, pub, bistro, international franchise maker, cafe, hawker and traditional neighborhood Singaporean or Peranakan food that symbolic the rich heritage of Singapore culture. It is one of the reason that tourists around the world gather here to try them besides the simplicity of Singapore being a vital aviation hub bridging east and west, north and south.
It change drastically since 2020 since COVID-19 breaking out to the world…
Restaurant restricted for dine in services for prolong periods, and lots of eateries limit number of patron who waiting to buy their food and go. Some F&b business regarded as significant danger of disease transmission and force to prevent operation entirely. The sudden changes leave them with no choice but struggle to adapt and staying afloat merely to create marginal revenue.
The restaurants mostly affected by the situation were the one that hasn’t embracing technology and unable to engage their customer due to the restriction imposed. And it’s a very clear sign that restaurants need modern solution like cloud based POS with integrated online ordering systems to engage their customer outside of restaurants.
Few of those electronic ordering solutions including major food aggregators are flaring exceptionally well between 2nd and 3rd quarters. Restaurants equipped with integrated online ordering systems demonstrating considerably lesser earnings decreased compared to the one without the important technology put in-place.
What can F&b firm do to future proof their firm
1. Cloud based POS system for F&B company
The benefits of cloud based POS is not new. Native cloud POS system has shown advantages on many aspects such as lower start up cost, easy to install, easy to use, higher scalability, powerful data protection and better business continuity. In contradict, the conventional POS is lacking of connectivity and generally running as standalone system that can only access physically at the POS machine.
Without the ability to connect, conventional POS cause more downsides to restaurant owner than just the presumption of cost saving. Even if we analyze the cost saving statement, conventional POS still consist of annual maintenance fees that’s a type of recurring, and the high upfront cost paid for hardware and perpetual software licenses tilted the ROI up to now and set your upfront investment into unfavourable position for a business owner.
In contradict Cloud POS systems using technologies that evolved from Internet and posses the offline ability to secure shield from unplanned online disturbance. It is normally built on top of highly dependable platform such as Apple iOS or Android, which fortified on information security, cyber attack and comprises official integration built by POS hardware manufacturer such as Epson, Star Micronics, Bixolon, Socket mobile and much more.
Due to this, native cloud based POS is a far better choice to enhance your restaurant POS system to future proof your F&b business.
2. ) Restaurant electronic ordering for delivery and take away
Online ordering is one of the most desired POS solution upgrade during COVID-19 Circuit Breaker period. The reason that restaurant trying to find online food ordering is evident, for restaurant which has already selling in food aggregator platform (GrabFood, FoodPanda and Deliveroo) must pay a higher commission fees to the platform operators while customer will tolerate the delivery prices.
It become not sustainable for F&b business in which earnings decline by 53 percent and the remaining orders are determined by food aggregators. And a couple of restaurant rotating the staffs to deliver food to customer who order through phone or messaging. However, the surge of orders (during lunch or dinner summit ) through these stations become cluttered and difficult to control.
F&b owner started to look out for alternative solutions and found online ordering systems as a viable alternative for diner to order and pickup, organize and send to them via 3rd party transport platform, or purchase and send from the restaurant staffs.
With an POS with online ordering system, it streamline the order to expedite process with increased precision and significant reduction of manual tasks to re-enter the internet orders to POS and forward to kitchen for food preparation. Hence the restaurant have the capacity to take in more orders and improve it earnings. With the development of productivity, reduction of cost, it produce a better and sustainable business model compare to food aggregator model.
3. Restaurant digital ordering for dine-in
F&b company going through one of the most volatile year in history during Circuit Breaker and next Circuit Breaker measure. When restaurants and eateries permitted to acquire dine-in customer, they need to obey social distancing measure which basically reduce the capacity of the restaurant and immediately affecting their earnings.
The dine-in self ordering technology fill this gap by providing customer amenities to dictate without relying on waiters. And it is a sensible solutions with benefits to improve dining experience for customers, reduce risk of disease for waiters and diners, and reduce staffing dependence during peak hours.
Dine-in self ordering integrated with POS system and kitchen display system. Waiter will issue a QR code to customer that they might use it to place order and send directly to kitchen. After the food is ready, waiter will serve to the customer, and client may add extra arrangement and call for the bill or make payment at the electronic ordering platform.
The QR code will expired after customer make payment for the bill to stop unintentionally sending order to kitchen after the diner left the restaurant.
4. ) Food aggregators platform integration with POS
Although that the food aggregators platform take up substantial portion of their earnings from restaurant, but it is nevertheless a fantastic channel to market for particular food such as bubble tea or drinks. Food aggregators pricing model works well for more space delivery like restaurant with island wide delivery.
Promoting through food aggregator platform additional substantial burden to the restaurant because they are not integrated with POS and will need to manually key to the POS system and merged into the kitchen for food preparation. The workload multiply by the quantity of meals aggregator which supermarket.
With the POS system that integrated with foods aggregator platform, it save plenty of time on menu and pricing management, orders consolidation and streamline the process for kitchen and fulfilment for customers. And it also offer you much cleaner P&L for the accounting.
When upgrading your restaurant POS system, this feature is one of the chief consideration that allow you to streamline your operation and accounting process.
- Native cloud POS system provide better scalability for restaurant to handle changes.
- Native cloud POS with electronic ordering for take out and delivery increase restaurant capacity to Interact with client beyond the restaurant to future proof its business
- Dine-in self ordering (BYOD) technology save cost and reduce staffing dependencies and supply restaurant greater earnings
- Integration with meals aggregators streamline the operations and provide restaurant greater opportunity to adapt to new regulations
Benefits of electronic ordering platform
1. Digital ordering for Devices
Digital ordering for server is a new name for eWaiter, mobile POS for server, mPOS or host ePOS. To put it simply, it is a tablet computer that allow waiter to take order and replace the normal pen and paper processes.
Using mPOS has a few advantages,
- Waiter is train to serve customer and supplying client best recommendation and dining experience. With eWaiter system, they are related to the POS system and it virtually multiply the station for simultaneous ordering by number of reachable eWaiter systems.
- Because it is the growth of POS, waiter ePOS provide precisely the same function as POS systems and immediately capture the orders from customer and send to kitchen. So all waiter ePOS is synchronise and showing real time status of every tables in a restaurant.
- Some mPOS is integrated with payment capacity, that further enrich”Pay at table” function to allow numerous waiters to process payment in precisely the exact same moment. This offer diner better experience by decreasing the waiting period when they finish the meal and telephone for bill.
Although mPOS has shown achievement to help out with restaurant functionality, mPOS demand physical hardware and operate by waiters. So it is still limit by the amount of hardware available or waiters. Restaurant can only scale by adding more workers or mPOS to expand the purchase channel.
2. ) Digital ordering for take out and delivery
Online ordering for take out and delivery help restaurant to abide by social distancing regulation by providing an ordering station for them to place order online and pickup from restaurant, or place order online and send the dishes to them. This technology has significant benefits helping restaurant to make extra income without heavy investment.
We provide some advantages by using online ordering,
- Restaurant expand its offering beyond physical location to target on nearby customers. With online food ordering site, it create a convenience to nearby offices to be able to purchase and pickup which save time. A great example is the Starbuck online ordering app, which let you place order before arriving at the cafe and jump the queue.
- Online food ordering also provide advantage to restaurant and conserve a whole lot of time to take orders. Since the client has order through the online ordering platform, cashier simply must validate the purchase and match the product. This is particularly helpful for salad stores, yogurt shop or bubble tea kiosk where the item consists of complex customisation.
- More advanced online ordering systems will have scheduling capability, and installation using POS system. This is important because customer will assume that restaurant is in service when they can order and make payment. If the online ordering platform does not have the capacity to block the purchase it will cause bad experience to customer who put order without understand that the restaurant is closed. Plus it include unnecessary work for restaurant to cancel and call customer. That’s the key different between eCommerce platform that use for retail online ordering for restaurant.
- With integration with delivery platform, online ordering system will synchronise order details to delivery platform automatically and spare time to manually arrange with food delivery company for pickup and verified if order was dispatched to client.
- Online order normally cost lower than food aggregators suppliers and we are comparing 1~5% + shipping charges. 30% + shipping charges. The substantial saving means more earnings to restaurant if it is short or long term.
- Saving time to prepare menu on various platform. Integrated online ordering with POS system synchronise the menu that save up a whole lot of time. A range of online food ordering platform even allow different tier pricing for dine-in or online.
- It substitute costly Self Service Kiosk by lowering the upfront and maintenance cost and expand to allow many customers to order simultaneously.
It is low cost and very low entry barrier to start with a POS system that has online ordering capability. Eats365 POS by means of example, even provide a free version that startup or small F&b business can use. It is significantly better than conventional POS regarding cost, performance and scalability.
3. Digital ordering system for dine-in
Dine-in self ordering provide significant advantages for diner, by reducing the waiting time and dining experience. The improvement of smartphone with bigger and clearer display, more powerful processing power and vibrant colour provide a fantastic requirement for diner to browse the restaurant menu with their own devices. And most diner are happy to adapt the new technology as it give them flexibility to place order without having to await the waiters.
Dine-in BYOD technology improvise dining experiences on following areas,
- The BYOD ordering permit simultaneous orders from all diners at which it work best for restaurant during complete residence and short of waiters. One of the common complaints from diners would be to wait for a person to come to take their orders and normally, diners can wait about half an hour during lunch or dinner summit. With BYOD ordering technology, waiter can focus on other tasks and diner can place order when they are ready.
- Instead of using eMenu systems that incur high cost for hardware and subscription licenses, BYOD supply precisely the same performance but percent of cost. And advantages to possess unlimited scalability even at the busiest time for the restaurant.
- Waiter get to up-sell or recommend dishes to diner as opposed to accepting orders. This is a significant paradigm shift for restaurant because it help to forge a relationship between the restaurant with value add services.
- POS system and BYOD ordering system integrated is the perfect model for Singapore restaurant to save cost, improve productivity and reduce staffing dependency.
4. ) Food aggregators integration with POS system
Food aggregators integration with POS system streamline the operation process for restaurant. The integration allow order details to sync to the POS system and station to kitchen for preparation and help provide more precise P&L information into the restaurant.
Here are some benefits we like share,
- Integration between food aggregators platform and POS system means no more manual data entries. With no integration cashier is need to put in the order details from Grabfood, FoodPanda and Deliveroo into the POS so that it is going to send in the kitchen. During peak hours, cashier is unable to handle the workload and it built up backlog. As a results we often understand that the delivery agents are queuing up in front of the restaurant to wait for the meals.
- Food aggregators is benefit to customers, and it help to produce the demand from these channels. However, the meals aggregators model only benefits food aggregators at restaurant costs. And this costs usually came in the operational staffs, and back end calculation. With the integration with food aggregator platform, it help them to obtain a clearer P&L and equipped to plan for other than more relying on food aggregators platform.
Some food aggregators platform are still not providing open API and only making it available only for some solution partners. Food aggregator company should consider to start up their API for public access so it’ll benefits the F&b ecosystems. While Singapore is marching toward digitalisation, it is even more important to make that as a requirement for foods aggregator to comply with specific requirements for the benefits of Singapore F&b marketplace.
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