Can you share with us some major F&B industry events in 2017?

The F&B sector is undergoing some key changes, some of which are subtly shaping the industry landscape.

Our sector is more readily embracing data and technology advancements. We are seeing growing demand for central kitchen technology & ‘mini’ Enterprise Resource Planning systems that are able to organise logistics, streamline operations and manage cost. On the consumer end, online payment, cashless payments, and self-ordering modes are rapidly gaining traction in many demographics we operate in. Data increasingly empowers business owners to make correct business moves and investments.

In land scarce Singapore, rental and prime costs are increasing. We see entrepreneurs and businesses leaning on our best practices to go for smaller outfits with faster turnovers to deliver scalable concepts. These local concepts often do well and achieve franchise status in a short span of a few years. The same reason has also seen F&B owners diving deep into additional sources of revenue. Our strength is always in helping our clients optimise their supply chain and central kitchen outfits into profit centers than merely central production facilities.

Overseas, we have noted Vietnam and Malaysia as up-and-coming areas of growth for F&B markets. Consumers are increasingly exposed to new and foreign concepts in these locations and demand has increased significantly. Particularly in Vietnam, we have a myriad of exciting concepts coming up. With our new offices in the countries, we get to share our expertise with local entrepreneurs and investors.

Chef At Work’s Vietnam Team DCA Holding

 

How is Chef At Work preparing for the market changes in 2018?

As a forward-looking business, we strive to stay ahead of trends and evolutions. The F&B scene has been evolving through the years and consumers are always on the lookout for fresher concepts. We are also embracing technology and looking at ways where data can be used to minimise maximise profits supporting F&B operations.

Where possible, we collaborate with the right parties in the sector to drive the overall standard in the industry ahead. On particular reason that certain countries, for instance Australia and Japan, have a strong and vibrant F&B scene is because of the strong local community. Everyone in the scene is supporting each other and raising the bar higher together.

From your perspective, how are F&B businesses in the region developing?

Regionally, we have been working with developers and investors in a few large-scale projects. On the ground, we recognise various changing demand factors. With the rise of pop culture, social media and influencers, demand for branded, differentiated and higher-tier F&B concepts are on the rise. Along with the economic development in the region, consumers in countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia have increasing spending power.

Yet, locally there are challenges in delivering such concepts. This is partly due to the local infrastructure, which may not be ready to support the developments, and also because locally there may not be experienced operations personnel to spearhead the execution. This is where we often come in and render our full turnkey solution to introduce the industry best practices for local projects and to set a good standard for the sector.