How the food-app boom can change F&B industry here

Florida-based chain Firehouse Subs has recently been seeing their lunch crowd dwindle.

While this might usually be a cause for concern, it is not for the sandwich shop, as their business has increased due to takeaway orders popularised by food-delivery apps.

With fewer customers dining in, the sandwich seller has been saddled with too much dining space and has since converted the extra area into space for packing, collecting and delivering takeaway orders.

How would a similar trend affect Singapore?

Restaurant operators stuck with too much space may face downward pressure, especially if they cannot redesign or reconfigure their restaurants.

Property owners may need to re-look their portfolios and, perhaps, redesign their properties and rental income structures. Food and beverage furniture suppliers may be in for a rough ride. Such problems will filter down to jobs too.

Will we experience another "tsunami", like what we saw in transport sector with the ride-hailing apps?

That being said, there are also opportunities for real estate players and F&B consultants to help restaurant operators revamp their businesses.

F&B operators can create value by being ahead, preparing and capitalising on the food-app trend and converting the excess space in their eateries into cooking areas.

Tan Kar Quan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2018, with the headline 'How the food-app boom can change F&B industry here'. Print Edition | Subscribe