In today’s world, technology drives everything – from shopping to ride-hailing, from grabbing a bite to planning a vacation. Access to just about everything is in the palm of one’s hand. And in this world where technology rules, industries and companies must adapt and offer solutions, giving people what they want most – efficiency and savings. This is no truer than in the food-and-beverage industry (F&B), which is fast becoming one of the most dynamic sectors globally.
In Southeast Asia, especially Singapore, where food and culture converge, new applications are being created to combat some of these challenges. Here are some major developments in the realm of F&B tech that restaurants and businesses can capitalise upon.
Procurement & Logistic Apps
The security-focused nature of blockchain technology, as well as its peer-to-peer decentralised architecture, is changing the way restaurant owners look at procurement.
However F&B companies need not hop on to blockchain just yet as utilising an online ordering management platform like Zeemart can also bring great value by simplifying day-to-day operations.
Zeemart is an order and invoice management platform that makes “procurement for F&B businesses easy”. It is an easy-to-use ordering platform that allows its users the ability to maintain full control over their F&B outlets through a single application. Businesses can place orders, receive digitised invoices, track expenditures, and use analytical insights to observe price changes and receive advice that can help save money. This helps restaurants manage the day-to-day operations more easily and smoothly.
Payment & Transactions
Tech players in this industry have typically focused on POS systems that enable F&B outlets to collect payments via different modes such as cash, credit card, QR code methods like GrabPay, FavePay and more. Indeed, for many F&B players, payment platforms are limited to mobile payment or order-for-pickup apps like Dunkin Donuts or Panera Bread.
However, not much has been done to help F&B businesses streamline and simplify their payables to their food suppliers – a tedious daily operation for every F&B business as fresh ingredients need to be purchased in a timely manner. This often means dealing with hundreds of small invoices, cheques and petty cash a month – a nightmare for the administrative staff or most of the times the owner. Small business financing – especially for restaurants – can be complicated.
CardUp is an online card payments platform which enables any payment made by bank transfer or cheque to be shifted to a credit card, regardless of whether the recipients accept credit cards.
For businesses, shifting these expenses like payroll, rent, supplier invoices and more to their credit card via CardUp enables businesses to digitise their processes and save more time and money by simplifying their payments.
Marketing & Loyalty Apps
CandyBar is a customer loyalty app that rewards returning customers with stamps on a punchcard that can be redeemed for rewards or discounts on their next meal out.
Booking & Reservation platforms
Booking platforms like Chope, Opentable and HungryGoWhere not only allow customers to make online table bookings in advance but also help to generate effective promotion campaigns and facilitate extended customer reach.
Online booking platforms also enable F&B outlets to streamline everyday operations using reliable digital interfaces while optimising cost management through better planning around inventory, staffing as well as seating. Most of these platforms are accessible through mobile apps and aim to increase sales through better seating management.
Food Delivery partners
Online delivery partners provide meal ordering and delivery services through web-based platforms and mobile apps, allowing F&B establishments to reach out to a wider customer base. Furthermore, restaurants are not limited by their physical space, and are able to grow their diner base to more than just the number of seats their establishment can offer
Players like Deliveroo, FoodPanda and GrabFood help increase everyday sales while providing the option to outsource to third party services to manage delivery logistics. Plus F&B outlets also have the flexibility to partner with one or more delivery services.
Technology is changing all aspects of restaurant operations
In the modern era, technology is touching and positively affecting every aspect of life; business and restaurant related tech are no different. The traditional workplace methods are still reliable, but more efficient, time-saving routes are now available.
With $2.5 billion USD worth of investment being poured into the global restaurant-tech sector through 600 investments since 2012, the restaurant industry is evolving into a very fruitful modern behemoth and it is ripe for the taking. The present is a great time to upgrade your restaurant operations, and modern tech is here to help. As the saying goes, ‘there is no time like the present.’
A version of this article was first contributed on the Candybar blog.