With the resurgence of local COVID-19 cases, the Singaporean government has implemented new safety measures that include ceasing dine-in orders at all F&B businesses, including food courts and hawkers centres. These measures have taken effect since May 16 and will be in place until June 13. What do new measures entail for F&B businesses and how can digitalisation help sustain revenue? Here are some pointers on what to expect and possible solutions to implement.
Photo taken from: Channel News Asia
Before measures were tightened, seating availability was already halved due to social distancing. With working from home being the norm, businesses will not only lose a reliable lunch crowd, but also a lack of general traffic to their stores. A spokesman for the Restaurant Association of Singapore (RAS), which has over 500 members representing over 800 brands and 5,000 outlets, has urged all F&B operators to "quickly pivot their focus to food delivery to make up for the shortfall in the dining in business". However, business owners still have to face an extreme decline in orders.
What can we learn from 2020?
Fortunately, 2020’s circuit breaker has taught us to be prepared. The importance of digitalisation has been highlighted as all sectors had to quickly adapt and turn towards technology. With the amount of technological solutions on the market, SME business owners are often spoilt for choice. However, it is important to keep their end goal of sustaining business in mind, and select the solutions that would work best for them. Value of having return customers
The value of customer loyalty is often neglected, but the lack of footfall to F&B businesses have placed customer loyalty in the spotlight. As research has shown, loyal customers spend 67 percent more at restaurants than new guests. Once you’ve established a good relationship with loyal customers, they are more likely to purchase items of larger ticket size or make more frequent visits.
A regular customer at one of our merchants, Salaam Bombay, redeeming his cashback
Importance of digital solutions
“We have to keep on changing and improving our business. We need to learn not to be afraid of failure or the digital world," says Jack Pua, owner of Ichiho. Digitalisation might seem like a big step but government grants and testimonials from other business owners have already paved the way. Ichiho only started their business during the early stages of the circuit breaker, but they took the first step towards digitalisation using our solution and managed to build their own loyalty program that keeps customers coming back for more.
Jack Pua, owner of Ichiho, speaking about Aimazing’s solution
One of Aimazing’s key benefits is that it allows business owners like Jack to reach out to their customers directly via Facebook Messenger. Customers who have made an in-store purchase are added to their reachable customer database. Merchants can then send them exclusive promotions to entice and remind them to return to their store.
Connecting With Other Business Owners
Online Facebook groups such as Hawkers United and Singapore Restaurant Rescue are also helpful platforms to get to know other business owners and the solutions that have worked for them. These groups are great for gathering valuable resources and connections that can help F&B owners help each other tide through tough times.
How Aimazing Can Help Local Businesses Thrive
Our team at Aimazing remains committed to supporting local businesses during these tough times. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a set of resources for FnB and retail merchants, to empower them to make the most of this period despite everything.
To aid F&B business in dealing with the pressures of the new COVID-19 measures, we currently offer a limited-time promotion to let new merchants try our solution and see the results for themselves. We currently offer free device installation (worth $300) for merchants that sign-up for a plan by 13 June 2021.
We saw how our solution helped our merchants tide through and emerge stronger from the previous dine-in restrictions, and we want to help. To find out more, do drop your contact details here and we will be in touch.