Catering to the Virtual Working Lunch
More companies are turning to food delivery services for team gatherings over a meal.
Demand for food delivery services has surged during the current pandemic as Singaporeans seek out their favourite dishes amid circuit breaker and safe distancing measures.
Businesses and workers, too, are taking advantage of such services as they try to recreate team building and working lunches virtually, as work-from-home arrangements become the adopted norm for most businesses. While it is not quite the same as sitting down together for a meal, it is a decent compromise during this time of extreme disruption.
Companies will likely need to adjust to this new normal for the health of their staff in the long term. According to an article on CNN.com, “crowded cafeterias, communal snacks and buffet-style lunches” will be a thing of the past. “Instead, you are likely to see more individually packed meals, delivery options and maybe even a salad robot.”
Meanwhile, employees working from home are also taking advantage of delivery services to ensure that they, and their families, are properly fed with minimal disruption to their working days. So, if you’re thinking about organising a meal for your employees or for your family, here are some interesting delivery options that you can consider.
Some of these platforms have also been set up to help local F&B businesses during this trying time, and you will also be helping out these beleaguered operators to sustain their business by ordering from them.
Local favourites for a work meal
Gone are the days, for now, when team members would huddle in a conference room to discuss projects while enjoying their favourite hawker fare. While such get-togethers are now done over video conferencing, these two services will allow you to enjoy local favourites delivered to your doorstep.
This mobile app is a non-profit food delivery service featuring hawkers and small F&B businesses. BySGForSG was set up to help F&B operators who have suffered as a result of the pandemic, but are unable to afford the high commission fees of traditional delivery platforms as this will reduce their profit margins and affect the viability of their businesses.
“We offer almost the same food ordering and delivery experience as other similar platforms, but with a different purpose and bigger objective – to help uncles and aunties stay in business, and to put food on the tables of vulnerable Singaporeans,” quoted on BySGForSG’s website.
It has partnered with “Wok The Talk”, an initiative by YMCA that contributes part of your order fee towards providing essential grocery packs and hot meals for the needy groups.
Set up just before circuit breaker rules kicked in in April, this Facebook page aims to bring the community together to support local businesses and be a one-stop shop for the public to search and order hawker food online.
The community initiative was started by hawker Melvin Chew, the second-generation owner of the Jin Ji Teochew Braised Duck & Kway Chap stall at Chinatown Complex Food Centre, who wanted to help provide vulnerable local hawkers with a leg up to weather the pandemic. He had the idea for Hawkers United when the circuit breaker was first announced in April.
“I foresaw that many hawkers who are used to relying on walk-in customers will now need help to promote their stalls on social media,” he told CNA Lifestyle .
The Facebook page has since been a success, garnering over 275,000 members. The service allows hawkers to engage directly with customers, providing them with information on their offerings, promotions and takeaway or delivery options.
You can also play your part by tagging them on your social media posts the next time you order from any of their members with these hashtags to increase awareness of this platform – #HawkersUnited, #PasarUnited and #SweetsUnited.
If you are celebrating an important milestone, a major business deal, or just want to treat your staff with something a little fancier, these two services offer a wide range of indulgent choices to satisfy almost any craving and suit any occasion.
This delivery service offers a wide range of upmarket F&B choices, including high‑end F&B operators such as the Les Amis Group, The Lo & Behold Group and Unlisted Collection. Thanks to Oddle Eats, you can enjoy luxurious food in the comfort of your home and indulge in delicacies such as the Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg from Odette, a Michelin-starred restaurant that clinched the top spot on the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2019.
To help F&B players, Oddle Eats charges eateries a 10 percent flat fee, lower than the 30 percent fees charged by the larger delivery platforms. There are currently around 1,500 restaurants in Singapore on Oddle Eats to choose from to satisfy your taste buds.
Another platform with a higher-end fare on its menu is WhyQ. This service also offers corporate catering and business meal plans. Such plans have tailored menus that include “Japanese Fusion”, “Local Delights” and “High Tea Hour”.
With its digital ecosystem empowering hawkers with no commissions, no onboarding fees and same day payments, WhyQ has managed to keep delivery costs affordable. To date, WhyQ has served over 52,000 meals to 356 companies, according to its website.
Feeding the family
For parents working from home for a prolonged period, ordering meals on an ad-hoc basis may not be financially sustainable. They are also unlikely to have the time to whip up their own dishes for the whole family during a workday. A more convenient and cost-efficient option could be tingkat services that deliver lunches and dinners to homes every day.
One popular operator in this space is Kim Paradise, one of Singapore’s largest tingkat providers. The service was co-founded by Madam Tan Swee Kim, who has 25 years of experience in the catering business. Kim Paradise’s menu has over 200 dishes, including items such as “Healthful meal sets”, “Economical bento meals” and “Signature mini buffets”. If you are unsure of the available options, you can always opt for an eight-day trial before you decide.
FattyDaddyFattyMummy aims to provide healthier menus that do not contain canned or processed foods. The “FattyMummy” in question is Fion, a stay-at-home mom, while “FattyDaddy” is kitchen director Kedan, a chef by profession. The couple started the service to help busy parents by delivering home-cooked meals to their doorstep. They offer a trial lasting 10 days.