How COVID-19 changing our dining behaviour and ways to adapt to the changes
Singapore went through the COVID-19 crisis and finally we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. Over the last 10 months, many businesses are affected and there was a period of several months that we have to stay at home and minimise our trip out of the house. As a business, and the consumers it has shape our behaviour and leave a long lasting behavioural changes on how we dine and how restaurant adapt to this changes.
Of course, not all the changes are permanent. But when Singapore and few other countries are doing better than average compare to the world, COVID-19 is still a threat and no one is exempted from the threat of next wave of infection. And it has also leave us a lesson that open borders play an important part of the world economic.
In this articles, we would like to share our opinion about few changes that shape the dining behaviour from 2020 and onwards.
The need to change for F&B businesses
Talking about F&b scene in Singapore context, we all know that Singapore is one of the most internationalised city state that offering diversify choices of foods. The restaurants, pub, bistro, global franchise brand, cafe, hawker and traditional local 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 apart from the convenience of Singapore being a key air travel 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 most eateries restrict number of patron who waiting to buy their food and go. Some F&b business even considered as high risk for disease transmission and force to cease operation entirely. The abrupt changes leave them with no choice but struggle to adapt and staying afloat just to make marginal revenue.
The restaurants mostly affected by the situation were the one that has not adopting technology and unable to engage their customer due to the restriction imposed. And it is a clear sign that restaurants need modern solution such as cloud based POS with integrated online ordering systems to engage their customer outside of restaurants.
Few of the digital ordering solutions including major food aggregators are flaring exceptionally well between 2nd and 3rd quarters. Restaurants equipped with integrated online ordering systems showing significantly lesser revenue declined compared to the one without the necessary technology put in-place.
What can F&b business do to future proof their business
1. Cloud based POS system for F&B business
The benefits of cloud based POS is not new. Native cloud POS system has proven benefits on many aspects such as lower start up cost, easy to install, easy to use, high scalability, strong data security and better business continuity. In contradict, the conventional POS is lacking of connectivity and usually running as standalone system that can only access physically at the POS machine.
Without the ability to connect, conventional POS cause more disadvantages to restaurant owner than just the presumption of cost saving. Even if we look at the cost saving statement, conventional POS still come with annual maintenance fees which is a form of recurring, and the high upfront cost paid for hardware and perpetual software licenses tilted the ROI so much and put your upfront investment into unfavourable position as a business owner.
In contradict Cloud POS systems using technology that evolved from Internet and also posses the offline capability to safe guard from unplanned Internet disruption. It is usually built on top of highly reliable platform such as Apple iOS or Android, which already fortified on data security, cyber attack and has official integration built by POS hardware manufacturer such as Epson, Star Micronics, Bixolon, Socket mobile and more.
As a result, native cloud based POS is a better choice to upgrade your restaurant POS system to future proof your F&b business.
2. Restaurant digital ordering for delivery and take away
Online ordering is one of the most sought after POS solution upgrade during COVID-19 Circuit Breaker period. The reason that restaurant looking for online food ordering is obvious, for restaurant who has already selling in food aggregator platform (GrabFood, FoodPanda and Deliveroo) have to pay for a very high commission fees to the platform operators while customer will bear the delivery fees.
It become not sustainable for F&b business where revenue decline by 53% and the remaining orders are dependent on food aggregators. And some restaurant rotating the staffs to deliver food to customer who order through phone or messaging. But the surge of orders (during lunch or dinner peak) via these channels become messy and hard to manage.
F&b owner started to look out for alternative solutions and found online ordering systems as a viable option for diner to order and pickup, order and deliver to them via 3rd party delivery platform, or order and deliver by the restaurant staffs.
And with an POS with online ordering system, it streamline the order to fulfil process with better accuracy and significant reduction of manual tasks to re-enter the online orders into POS and forward to kitchen for food preparation. So the restaurant are able to take in more orders and improve it revenue. With the increase of productivity, reduction of cost, it create a better and sustainable business model compare to food aggregator model.
3. Restaurant digital ordering for dine-in
F&b business going through one of the most volatile year in history during Circuit Breaker and after Circuit Breaker measure. When restaurants and eateries granted to receive dine-in customer, they need to comply with social distancing measure and that basically reduce the capacity of the restaurant and directly affecting their revenue.