5-year Plan To Reduce Manpower Reliance
The Singapore government has formulated a five-year plan to help local food companies reduce their reliance on manpower such as chefs, cooks, wait staff and cashiers. Manpower has always been an issue for the F&B industry due to the high cost of hiring locally and the challenges faced when trying to hire from overseas. Several government agencies will work to help local companies improve productivity by using technology and automation as well as innovate new products that are a lot less reliant on manpower. Spring Singapore will help companies with new dining and food catering innovations while the Singapore productivity center will help companies improve productivity through consultations and workshops.
One expected result of this plan is to see more food innovations like vending machines serving hot hawker food, ready-to-cook food packages, mobile apps, self-ordering tablets etc.
Reported on 30th October 2015 by the Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/new-five-year-plan-to-reduce-food-services-sectors-reliance-on-manpower
Halal Food Blunder By Food Caterer at NUS
A Halal certified food caterer for NUS, who has been serving food at two dining halls patronized by students from four residential colleges, has recently been found serving roast beef prepared in a non-halal manner which affects hygiene. A Muslim student spotted that beef was cooked in an oven in a non-halal kitchen and made a report to academic staff. The food vendor has both halal and non-halal kitchens in NUS. MUIS has responded to this incident by saying that the Halal certification may be revoked. Those found to be not adhering to Halal requirements may be fined SGD$10,000. The current vendor has since stopped serving Halal food and another vendor has taken over.
To read the full report go here: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/nus-dining-operator-serves-up-halal-food-blunder
Co-working Kitchen Spaces Popular with Food Startups
Many small food businesses in Singapore that operate from home have been sprouting up in recent years. There comes a time when these businesses do so well that preparing food at home is no longer a viable option. This is when they will start looking for a real commercial kitchen. Unfortunately, setting up a commercial kitchen is financially out of reach for many of these small businesses but at the same time, they are no longer able to run from home since home-based large-scale food preparations will get them in trouble with the law. To get around this problem, around 30 small food business have begun renting shared licensed kitchen spaces. They either rotate usage of the kitchen or use the kitchen with 2 or 3 other businesses at the same time. This arrangement helps small businesses keep costs down and also to network with other like-minded entrepreneurs.
This was reported on 3rd November 2015 – http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/food-start-ups-turn-to-shared-kitchen-spaces