A revised road plan for the food services industry will strive to accomplish a number of goals in the next years, including encouraging enterprises in the food industry to discover new sources of income and developing homegrown brands that can expand regional.
At Restaurant Asia 2022, a three-day conference and trade expo for the food and beverage industry, held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre on Thursday morning, May 19, Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong made the announcement about the Food Services Industry Transformation Map 2025.
On Thursday, the opening day of the event, Mr. Gan remarked, “As we emerge from the epidemic, it is vital for the food services industry to reposition itself to grab new possibilities, and implement solutions to future-proof operations.
The Industry Transformation Map (ITM), developed in collaboration with the business community, labour unions, and other government agencies, was introduced in 2016 and largely concentrated on digitalisation, the adoption of business models that are manpower-light, and technology to increase productivity and lessen reliance on manpower.
The updated road plan for 2025 is focused on assisting companies in the sector to innovate, develop, and reposition themselves to capitalise on new consumer trends as well as to create a local talent pool for new employment opportunities in the industry.
Covid-19 has caused waves of changes in the food services industry over the last two years, but despite this, many have persisted and transformed their businesses, according to Mr. Gan. Many people have also signed up for food delivery services, used digital and automated solutions, and diversified their sources of income.
According to figures from Enterprise Singapore, the food services sector contributed $4 billion to Singapore’s GDP and employed over 220,300 people in 2021. (Enterprise SG).
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The updated industry transformation map now incorporates aims to support a creative and hardy food services business with a foundation of domestic regional brands.
“The Food Services ITM 2025 will concentrate on catalysing innovation among businesses to establish new income streams, and enable ready and able food services organisations to internationalise and seize new growth,”
according to Mr. Gan.
We will continue our efforts in the areas of productivity, employment, and skills, he continued. The minister identified four key tactics that the road plan would use.
The first focus is on assisting businesses in implementing small-scale, affordable digital and automation technologies to spur development.
According to Mr. Gan, “Food services organisations must continuously reform and investigate new operating models due to increased competitive pressures and altering customer preferences.”
According to Enterprise SG, organisations will be urged to use data to enhance operations and consumer engagement as they expand up.
A new Food Services Industry Digital Plan, which will be unveiled later this year, is included in the amended road plan and will serve as guidance for businesses adopting cutting-edge technology.
Using solutions for data protection and cyber security can also assist small and medium-sized firms in the sector defend their operations.
Singapore’s economy benefited by $4 billion from the food services sector. Photo credit: LIM YAOHUI
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The food services sector road map aids Singapore enterprises in navigating development, from expansion to green set-ups.
The second focus is on accelerating innovation to create new income sources and to capitalise on shifting consumer trends towards comfort, wellness, and sustainability.
Mr. Gan mentioned businesses that created and sold ready-to-eat meals. These measures were successful and enabled them to withstand demand shocks, particularly during the circuit breaker when eating in restaurants was prohibited, he said.
He said that it is important for firms to integrate sustainability principles into their operational models since sustainability is becoming a growing worldwide trend. Therefore, businesses may take advantage of Enterprise SG’s Sustainability Programme to enhance their competencies.
According to Enterprise SG, the ITM will help food service providers enhance their green branding to appeal to ecologically concerned customers. It will assist them in implementing sustainable solutions or sustainability practises into their daily operations, such managing food waste.
Many people have signed up with meal delivery services and have diversified into other earning sources. ST SHINTARO TAY in a photo. The third focus is assisting locally based businesses take advantage of possibilities to develop internationally as borders eventually reopen.
In order to aid enterprises in the industry who are branching out into new markets, a curated market initiative will be launched in the third quarter of this year.
According to Enterprise SG, the initiative would establish a network for the exchange of expertise and link businesses with prospective partners.
According to Mr. Gan, “for organisations with established global reach, we will assist them enhance their in-market networks and insights.”
Additionally, firms who are investigating alternative operating models, such as cloud kitchens, will get support in order to take advantage of the change in customer acceptability of food delivery during the epidemic. Typically, food preparation in cloud kitchens is limited to delivery or takeaway.
Through collaborations with local e-commerce platforms, Enterprise SG will assist businesses who sell retail food goods in growing their exports. Prior to opening actual stores, they might be used as a market testing ground.
The fourth ITM thrust will lay out methods to raise salaries, especially for lower-paying occupations, lessen dependence on foreign labour, and increase the number of high-quality local employment.
Mr. Gan recognised the growing rivalry for workers in all industries.
Accordingly, it’s critical that businesses invest in human capital as part of company transformation and make excellent employment opportunities available to locals. This will guarantee that there is a talent pipeline to support the sector’s expansion.
He said that the industry would experience exciting employment prospects as a result of new operating models and methods of doing business. Examples of these new positions include data analysts and experts in digital marketing.
“The Government will engage with food services firms to design and execute talent development programmes to train locals to take on these occupations to satisfy the rising demand for these developing employment roles and skills,” he added.
According to Mr. Andrew Kwan, Restaurant Association of Singapore, which planned Restaurant Asia with Conference and Exhibition Management Services, “It is timely to refresh the Food Services ITM, since its launch in 2016, to better align with the needs of the industry amid these changes and provide good careers for locals.”
He said that the epidemic gave the sector a boost in adopting the ITM strategy. For instance, during the pandemic, F&B businesses opted for contactless ordering and other digital alternatives suck as food delivery as well as operating centralise cloud kitchen.
Over the previous 24 months, there have been more than 7,000 applications for the Productivity Solutions Grants for IT equipment and solutions. The number exceeds five times as many applications as there were in 2018 and 2019.
“We want to help food services companies capture the strong consumer demand locally and internationally, created by changing consumption needs and trends in areas like wellness and sustainability,” said Ms. Dilys Boey, assistant chief executive of Enterprise SG for lifestyle and consumer, food and agritech.
“We urge businesses to be daring and imaginative in exploring new ideas and company forms to win in this highly competitive field.”