Bank aims to help F&B clients draw online customers

Mr Adrian Yeo, owner of Slate restaurant, says he has seen a "drastic drop" in business in the last two weeks, and hopes to make up for it with the online ordering system.
Mr Adrian Yeo, owner of Slate restaurant, says he has seen a "drastic drop" in business in the last two weeks, and hopes to make up for it with the online ordering system.PHOTO: SLATE

Food and beverage (F&B) firms reeling from dwindling business amid the coronavirus outbreak can tap digital services via DBS Bank to attract online customers.

DBS announced a new F&B digital relief package yesterday, which will enable businesses to set up an online food ordering site in just three business days.

Supported by the Infocomm Media Development Authority and Enterprise Singapore, DBS is working with two local technology start-ups, Oddle and FirstCom, to help its F&B clients establish an online presence. The package is expected to be available from the end of the month.

Oddle will help to build a branded e-menu with integrated shopping cart, order management and payment gateways within three business days, enabling merchants to quickly establish a digital presence to reach online customers.

It will also provide training and a social media kit to merchants to boost online sales through digital marketing.

As an add-on, Oddle will help connect merchants to logistics partners, should they wish to provide food delivery services.

These services will be provided to DBS' F&B clients at a preferential rate.

FirstCom's services include helping businesses new to e-commerce set up a digital shopfront in less than five business days. For businesses already online, FirstCom will offer preferential rates for digital marketing services, which include setting up and managing the businesses' social media presence on Facebook and Instagram.

FirstCom's solutions integrate DBS' digital merchant collections solution, DBS Max, as a payments and collections option. DBS will absorb the set-up costs for DBS Max and waive merchant discount rates for six months for customers who adopt the option.

Mr Adrian Yeo, owner of Slate, a two-month-old restaurant in Purvis Street, said he has seen a "drastic drop" in business in the last two weeks. He hopes to make up for the fall in business with the online ordering system, by being able to reach out to new customers while retaining existing ones.

He said: "If customers are getting their food cravings satisfied online, then that is where we need to be."

The Ministry of Health introduced further safe distancing measures for F&B operators last week, including ensuring a distance of at least 1m between tables or different groups of diners.

On Tuesday, it announced that groups of diners at restaurants should be limited to 10 or fewer.

There are about 8,000 F&B establishments in Singapore.

More details about the F&B digital relief package can be found at https://www.dbs.com.sg/sme/covid-19-relief-measures/fb-digital-relief-package

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2020, with the headline 'Bank aims to help F&B clients draw online customers'. Print Edition | Subscribe