Grab announced that it has expanded its Hawker Centre 2.0 pilot programme to 16 additional locations islandwide following an encouraging trial at Blk 724 Ang Mo Kio (AMK 724) Food Centre. Up to 188 hawkers are expected to participate in this initiative.
Hawker Centre 2.0 pilot was first launched at AMK 724 Food Centre in May 2020, both as a measure to support hawkers impacted by the COVID-19 situation and to find a sustainable digitalisation path for hawkers in Singapore. As many of them have also relied on offline and walk-in sales traditionally, they have expressed difficulties with going about to set up an online food delivery business to capture the rising demand.
The initial pilot with AMK 724 Food Centre saw participating hawkers doubling their sales. The extended trial will put the programme to test at a bigger scale and be in operation until December 2020. Participating hawkers will also be offered a reduced commission rate.
“Hawkers are an integral part of the Singapore social fabric, where many of us still head to our favourite hawker centres for their wide and affordable selection of local food. However, the pandemic has pushed many to kickstart their digital journeys, despite them lacking the know-how or the right resources in optimising their business models. With Hawker Centre 2.0, we want to play our part in preserving this unique culture of Singapore by seeking a viable model for these stall owners to sell online, “said Yee Wee Tang, Managing Director, Grab Singapore. “Besides supporting with tools and a wide network of delivery-partners, along with a dedicated operational team to support hawkers , we are also actively looking at ways to keep costs manageable, including commissions paid to us, so that they can grow and optimise their online business in a sustainable manner,”
Towards a more sustainable food delivery model for hawkers
Hawker Centre 2.0 emulates the experience consumers enjoy when they visit a hawker centre within their GrabFood app. Users can order across different participating stalls located within a hawker centre in a single order, leveraging the platform’s mix-and-match feature. Not only do they get a wide variety, they are also able to save on costs as they only pay one delivery fee per order under the programme.
“Grab’s programme to allow mix and match orders from the hawker centre has helped supplement my business. People enjoy coming to hawker centres because there is a great variety of dishes here and they can order from more than one stall conveniently. This (programme) allows customers to do that on Grab. We also noticed that customers who order food delivery tend to order larger quantities for those at home, rather than just one or two portions if they’re eating in. More people also know about us from our online store on GrabFood today, and this has contributed to our total sales,” shared Joseline Oh, owner of Leo Satay from AMK 724 Food Centre.
For hawkers, Hawker Centre 2.0 programme addresses their challenges with their digitalisation journeys, including the lack of digital skills, as well as ensuring a sustainable business model at an affordable cost.
Another finding from the initial pilot with AMK 724 Food Centre showed that participating hawkers received more orders daily after joining the programme. Orders from the Hawker Centre 2.0 programme are in addition to regular orders they get from their standalone stories listed on the platform. The programme has helped to improve their visibility and driven consumers’ interest to purchase. For stalls that offer complements to mains, such as drinks, fruits or dessert stalls, participating in the pilot had also provided them with more selling opportunities.
“This initiative allows Grab’s customers to mix and match orders which helped to increase my sales even more. Customers tend to buy drinks along with their food, the programme allows my stall to’ tag along’ and creates opportunities for us to be included in orders made, which contributes back to our total sales,” said Jason Toh, son of Long Quan Cha Shi’s stall owners.
“As the hawker community is large and diverse with different cost and operation models, we will continue to iterate the model so that our hawker-partners can benefit from GrabFood in the long run. We hope that this model will help to provide a viable platform for interested hawkers and hawker centres to experiment their digital offerings for Singaporeans,” added Wee Tang.
GrabFood and participating hawkers will evaluate the viability of the programme at the end of this pilot for 2021 and beyond.
List of participating hawker centres
- Golden Mile Food Centre 505, Beach Road
- Marsiling Mall Hawker Centre 4, Woodlands Street 12
- Kovan Market & Food Centre Blk 209, Hougang Street 21
- Chomp Chomp Food Centre 20, Kensington Park Road
- Blk 724, Ang Mo Kio Food Center
- Blk 127 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 Blk 127, Lorong 1 Toa Payoh
- Blk 75 Toa Payoh Lorong 5 # Blk 75, Lorong 5 Toa Payoh
- Blk 22 Toa Payoh Lorong 7 Blk 22, Lorong 7 Toa Payoh
- East Coast Lagoon Food Village 1220, East Coast Parkway
- Geylang Serai Market
- Blks 79/79A Circuit Road Blk 79/79A, Circuit Road
- Blk 16 Bedok South Road Blk 16, Bedok South Road
- Bedok Food Centre 1, Bedok Road
- Blk 85 Bedok North Bedok North Street 4
- Blk 208B 81 New Upper Changi Road
- Blk 503 West Coast Drive Blk 503, West Coast Drive
- Blk 448 Clementi Ave 3 Blk 448, Clementi Ave 3