Parliament Debate on ministries' budgets: Trade and Industry

Nasi padang business taps grant to streamline cooking process, reduce food waste

Mr Abdul Hadi Kamarolzaman, director of Istimewa Nasi Padang, using a combi oven at one of the company's two outlets yesterday. The oven enables staff to cook multiple dishes at the same time, without affecting the taste and aroma. ST PHOTO: CHONG JU
Mr Abdul Hadi Kamarolzaman, director of Istimewa Nasi Padang, using a combi oven at one of the company's two outlets yesterday. The oven enables staff to cook multiple dishes at the same time, without affecting the taste and aroma. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

Incorporating a combi oven in the cooking processes has allowed Istimewa Nasi Padang to increase its productivity and reduce food wastage.

The oven allows staff to cook 24 sunny-side-up eggs at once without any monitoring, instead of having a cook look after a handful of stoves.

"With the combi oven, we can also cook multiple dishes at the same time, without affecting the taste and aroma of the different dishes," said company director Abdul Hadi Kamarolzaman.

Each of its two outlets has a combi oven, which has enabled the nasi padang stalls to cook in small batches.

"In the past, we would cook one big batch (of each dish), and hope and pray that people would buy everything," said Mr Hadi, 43.

He and his wife started getting involved in his parents' nasi padang stall in Hoy Fatt Road about five years ago, and have since opened a second outlet in Clementi last December and embarked on digitalisation.

Istimewa bought two combi ovens - which are used to cook dishes such as rendang - with the help of Enterprise Singapore's Productivity Solutions Grant around last November.

Besides streamlining the cooking processes, the company has also sought to digitalise and adapt to consumer demands.

While it started listing on food delivery platforms about two years ago, Mr Hadi felt that the 2km radius limit for delivery meant that they were able to reach out only to the same customers.

The company decided to start its own website, which would enable islandwide delivery.

This website was launched early last year and served them well during the circuit breaker.

Mr Hadi said: "When the circuit breaker happened, we were already familiar with the processes and workflow. Instead of thinking of how to increase traffic to the stall, we focused on increasing traffic to our website."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 03, 2021, with the headline 'Nasi padang business taps grant to streamline cooking process, reduce food waste'. Subscribe