Grab Singapore announced the official launch of its second GrabKitchen in Singapore. Located in Aljunied, the new kitchen is the 56th GrabKitchen regionally, making Grab one of the largest operators of cloud kitchen facilities in Southeast Asia.
With the commitment to support merchant-partners’ growth and provide consumers with high-quality food options, Grab started its cloud kitchen operations in 2018. GrabKitchen provides merchant-partners with more opportunities to increase their footprint and test new concepts at lower costs, while offering them with immediate access to Grab’s user base. It also provides merchants with new incremental sales channels through features like mix-and-match where merchants can reach a new segment of customers who do group ordering for their family or friends.
This has become increasingly relevant in the last few months as F&B businesses accelerate their digitalisation efforts and optimise their business structures to meet the rising demand for food delivery services in cost-effective ways. GrabKitchen Hillview – Grab’s first cloud kitchen in Singapore – has seen total orders more than doubled since launch, with the proportion of mix-and-match orders also increasing. It is now operating at full occupancy with over 20 brands.
“The pandemic has had F&B players rethink their expansion plans. With sustained consumer demand for food delivery orders, GrabKitchen Aljunied will enable our merchant-partners to grow their footprint and iterate on new concepts while adapting to fast-changing consumers behaviours through our data-first approach. This is one of our latest efforts as part of our commitment to support our merchant-partners in building their digital businesses,” said Dilip Roussenaly, Senior Director, Deliveries, Grab Singapore.
At 2,971 square feet, GrabKitchen Aljunied features eight kitchens and a small dine-in area. It will see a mix of merchant-partners who are new to the cloud kitchen model such as homegrown food chains Putien and Maki-san, Japanese Teishoku brand Yayoi, as well as returning ones who have seen success in their GrabKitchen Hillview venture including Playmade, Wolf Burgers and CarversX. Similar to the Hillview outfit, GrabKitchen Aljunied will also offer consumers a selection of drinks, as well as dessert and snack options.
With every GrabKitchen, a robust data gathering and analysis process guides the selection of the location as well as the merchant mix in order to provide merchant-partners with the right opportunities from the get-go. Based on consumer insights derived from in-app data usage as well as consumer surveys, the Geylang-Aljunied area saw one of the highest rates of unmet consumer demand amongst GrabFood users in Singapore. More specifically, Japanese, Korean and Western cuisines, as well as bubble tea and fried chicken saw significantly higher demand from consumers than supply from F&B merchants in the area. With smaller, home-grown eateries offering a variety of local cuisine dominating the area, there was also the opportunity to bring in popular and established food brands.
“This is the first time we are expanding with the sole aim of reaching more consumers through food delivery. In the last few months, we have seen many of our customers, even our regulars, move online and order from us through GrabFood. Even as more consumers are returning to our stores, demand for our menu during weekday meal times still remains high. We believe this is a trend that will continue to stay for a long time, so we need to also try new ways of serving our consumers. While the cloud kitchen concept is very new to us, we can already see some benefits – such as managing lower overhead costs and having access to insights to what consumers expect from food delivery. Ultimately, our vision for PUTIEN has not changed – to keep serving great food to more consumers in Singapore and globally. And we will keep finding the best ways to do that,” said Fong Chak Ka, Vice-President, PUTIEN
“2020 has been a wild ride for us and the F&B scene in general. We had to cope with so much change – whether it’s dine-in restrictions caused by social distancing measures or new dining habits and preferences from consumers. This year, we experimented with a new delivery-only menu at GrabKitchen Hillview to see how we can best meet consumers’ growing demand online and it actually did really well,” said Ho Song-En, Director, Howlers Pte Ltd, which operates Wolf Burgers and CarversX. “Driven by our passion for food, it has always been our focus to serve affordable quality wholesome food to the community in an accessible manner. Be it offline or online, we want to reach out to a larger community. Grab has given us a leg up in expanding our business amidst the uncertainties and we are keen to continue partnering with them to achieve our long term vision.”
Besides offering a space to operate, Grab takes care of overall utilities management within the facility, as well as marketing support within the app to reduce the onset business challenges merchants face when they look to set up new outlets or even their first business. In addition, GrabKitchen’s merchant-partners can tap on Grab’s wide delivery fleet and expand their addressable consumer base with IslandwideDelivery service.
The launch of GrabKitchen Aljunied is the latest way Grab continues to help its merchant-partners expand their businesses and better serve the needs of their users. Since the beginning of the year, Grab has rolled out new initiatives and tools aimed at making it easier for businesses on the platform to expand their visibility and adapt their operations to an increasingly digital-reliant world. Some of these efforts include a series of knowledge-building programmes through the GrabFood Capability Development Pack and Grab Merchant Academy, a new all-in-one self-serve GrabMerchant app, along with new services such as Islandwide delivery and marketing campaigns like GF7SecAd and GrabFood Bank.