Singaporeans Expect More Streamlined Services From F&B Operators As Dine-In Picks Up

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 | 1962 Views

Data released by Adyen, the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, reveals that diners’ habits in Singapore have permanently shifted in favour of digital-driven solutions following the pandemic. From take-away options to in-store dining, Singaporean consumers increasingly expect food and beverage (F&B) and quick service restaurant (QSR) operators to offer technology-enabled experiences.

The 2020 Agility Report, commissioned by Adyen, found that 88 percent of Singaporeans avoided dining out during the pandemic. A similar trend was observed globally, with 82 percent of survey respondents in APAC and Europe, and 79 percent in the US, keeping away from physical F&B establishments. Additionally, of all the Singapore respondents who have avoided visiting bars and cafes, 62 percent cited the lack of safety of being in close proximity with strangers as a key reason. This was well ahead of Hong Kong (58 percent), Australia (55 percent) and Europe (44 percent). Singaporeans will remain cautious moving forward, with almost half (47 percent) saying they will dine out less following the pandemic, compared to only 29 percent of respondents globally.

“F&B and quick service restaurants (QSRs) are focused on creating efficiencies and enhancing services to grow customer loyalty, and digitisation allows operators to focus on their core business – serving meals that keep diners coming back for more. As crowds return to dining establishments, there is an opportunity to turn pent-up demand into a more seamless, richer in-store experience. Food establishments that have a holistic view of their customer profiles are well-positioned to help diners explore new menu items based on past purchases – whether in store or online – and focus on re-engaging customers in person,” commented Warren Hayashi, President, Asia-Pacific, Adyen.


Opportunities for F&B and QSR operators

The good news is that Adyen’s 2020 Agility Report found that 42 percent of Singaporeans thought restaurants did a good job in adapting during the pandemic. Building on this positive momentum, Adyen has released four trends that F&B and QSR operators should offer to cater to the new demands and expectations of Singaporean consumers moving forward:

  1. Cross-channel purchasing options: With the pandemic-induced dining restrictions still in effect, consumers have turned to other channels including delivery and take-away. More than half of Singaporean consumers (62 percent) used take-away apps such as Deliveroo, FoodPanda and GrabFood more during the pandemic than they did previously. Having been habituated by this, 43 percent of respondents in Singapore said that they would like restaurants to remain available on such apps when things return to normal, while 36 percent will still want to support restaurants by using take-away and delivery platforms despite dining out less following the pandemic.
  2. Use of technology to improve the in-store experience: 41 percent of Singaporeans would like restaurants to use technology to improve the experience. These include implementing self-service checkouts and kiosks or pay-at-table technology. In 2021, we anticipate that robotics will continue to emerge as well. Beyond robot cleaners, we’re already seeing some turning to tech for services too. For example, Crown Coffee introduced its robot barista, Ella, this year.
  3. Roll-out of subscription services: Traditionally more associated with health and weight-loss meals, customers in Singapore are starting to appreciate subscription services. Our 2020 Agility Report found that 38 percent of respondents signalled their interest in using these for products, including food, to reduce the amount of times they need to shop. As Singaporeans are looking for more convenient meal options, providers can consider offering this service.
  4. Improve customer loyalty programmes: The F&B space was highly competitive in Singapore during the circuit breaker period, and now as restaurants are opening again, they need to woo back the diner. Most Singaporeans (81 percent) said that food and hospitality businesses need to improve the ways they reward consumers for shopping with them.

To help with this, we recommend that F&B and QSR players move away from loyalty cards, as these are often perceived to be frustrating by consumers as they fill up wallets (52 percent). Instead, they should consider offering apps that provide bonuses or rewards, as well as connecting loyalty schemes to the customers payment card so updates are done automatically, with no trouble to the diner.


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