Grab and Go
There are more people in the world living in cities than ever before. The demand for quick and convenient food services will only get even higher in the years to come, especially among Asian cities. According to data provided by World Bank, by 2025, 54% of the population in Asia will be living in cities (up from 48% in 2015).
Generally, the restaurant business is a low margin setup, with the average profit margin hovering at about 3-6%. The grab and go concept presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs since its costs of starting up is lower and the same goes for rent and operating cost. The risk of running the business is reduced with a quick turnaround, lesser risk of over purchasing, lower manpower cost and better utilisation of space.
In the past, should a consumer like to get their food fast, chances are they will have to visit a fast food restaurant. The type of food that they are likely to get would be burgers, sandwiches, fried chicken etc. With grab and go concepts proliferating in many cities today, you can now expect to get a whole variety of food such as coffee, pasta, burritos, fruit juice, salads etc.
Fully automated restaurants
In order to tackle rising costs and high manpower costs (especially in countries where the minimum wage restriction is enforced), restaurants are finding innovative ways to better manage costs. Eatsa is a restaurant that is almost fully automated, functioning like a human-powered vending machine that spits out freshly-prepared quinoa bowls. (Source)
Over at a MacDonald’s outlet in Phoenix, Arizona, the restaurant will largely be operating with robots at the helm. Though they will still employ a small team of human employees to ensure all of the robots are working correctly, most of tasks ranging from stocking food and cleaning supplies, to collecting and removing money are executed by these robots. Visitors to the restaurant will see these new robots working in harmony at a speed of 50 times faster than the average McDonald’s employee, with no chance of error. (Source)
Food vending machines
While the extent of deploying a full level of automation in restaurants may still be rather far-fetched in most places of the world, the next trend that we are taking a closer look has already hit our local shores a few months ago. Vending machines has always been popular in Europe and Japan. But will it take off in Singapore and other cities?
A few months ago, JR group has made hot food readily available in Sengkang, Singapore. The Food Vending Machine provides convenience and quality food throughout the day and night. It is the perfect meal solution for locations and organisations with shift duties, where access to eateries are not readily available or during large scale events where provision of food is not convenient or not available. (Source)
One of the biggest issues that the industry has to tackle is the labor crunch and rising manpower cost. With the availability of vending machine, restaurants are eateries are now able to track demand and supply better, space can be utilised more efficient and there will not be any operating downtime since the machines can function round the clock.