As the labour shortage situation in Singapore worsens and more restaurants are tapping on older Singaporean workers as an alternative labour source, it’s a trend to use technology to make jobs easier, smarter and safer, while providing a more enjoyable dining experience for consumers.
From iPad menus for customers to place their orders, to artificial intelligence cooking machines that can reduce manpower, an automated queuing system which simplifies the process and mobile ordering solutions for staff to speed up the ordering process, here is a look at some of the innovations that restaurants in Singapore have undertaken.
It is not uncommon to see long queues at Grub during brunch on weekends. Hence, its automated queuing system is a godsend tool, and perfect implementation to reduce customers’ frustrations. Register at the kiosk and you will be informed when the table is ready. It is beneficial for both customers and staff.
Customers can get a queue number and take a stroll around Bishan Park while waiting for their tables. On the flip side of the coin, the staff can better capitalise on their time and focus on more important tasks like serving the customers.
Over at Grand Hyatt Singapore, mezza9 has been shifting their focus to their online reservations, which are booked through the hotel’s restaurant booking engine and TableDB – one of the leading online reservation websites in Singapore. Without having to search for telephone number or wait on the phone, customers are able to instantly get a table through the web.
NARA THAI RESTAURANT
Through e2i’s IGP scheme, Nara Thai Restaurant has also implemented the eMenu system. It allows customers to place the orders themselves, which greatly increases productivity and allows staff to focus on solving other bottlenecks to serve customers better. No cutting corners, no shortchange on customers’ experience, but still with an increased productivity with decreased cost, the company sees a raised profit. As a result of the cost saving, 10 of the local staff are rewarded with a 15.3% wage increment.
Instead of using an iPad eMenu, Shunjuu Izakaya at Robertson Quay has opted to approach e2i for funding support to implement a mobile POS (Point-of-sale) solution for labour efficiency.
Before, the staff had to manually pen down every order. But with the mobile POS solution, a PDA is put in place for them to key in orders in a fuss-free manner, and the orders are sent to the kitchen instantly. Also, gone are the days when you have to wait forever for the bill. The staff can bring the device to your table and process your payment on the spot.
Sushi Goshin is one of the restaurants in Singapore that uses an iPad Menu Ordering system. Diners can order from the iPad that is fixed at every table, and the digital menu provides descriptions and photos of every dish. It speeds up the ordering process and reduces the chances of human error when taking in orders.
The TungLok Group has invested in three artificial intelligence cooking machines for its new central kitchen to make its catering business cheaper, better, faster. The machines can be pre-programmed to cook a variety of Chinese dishes with minimum manpower. It will add in ingredients to the wok based on the programmed timing, and only one staff is needed to operate the three machines.
In the next few years, as technology progresses and productivity funds such as NTUC’s IGP easily available to F&B businesses, we won’t be surprised to see more restaurants offering iPad menus and it will not only make things easier for workers (especially older workers), but it also provides a better dining experience for customers. What are some of the technologies that you hope restaurants will implement?
This message is part of a ladyironchef x Labour Movement project where we seek to share with you insights on the different initiatives by the Labour Movement to give workers in Singapore better jobs, better pay and better work-life balance.