GrabFood opens shared kitchen in Hillview with dine-in, takeaway options

Wong Casandra
Senior Reporter
(PHOTO: GrabFood Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Residents living in the northwest region of Singapore can now dine-in or takeaway food from over 10 brands at food delivery service GrabFood’s first-ever shared kitchen here.

The 6,000sqft GrabKitchen, located at Lam Soon Industrial Building at 63 Hillview Avenue, can seat up to 50 people and carry F&B options such as Wolf Burgers, PlayMade, Thai Dynasty, and dessertstory.

Customers can also choose to get their items delivered to them by GrabFood’s delivery partners for a fee or walk in to collect them.

The kitchen also comes with a fulfillment hub, GrabFood’s sixth, which sells dishes from a variety of popular hawker cuisine as well as packaged food brands such as Tiger beer and Irvins.

The premise can help address challenges that merchants face, including high rental costs, operational as well as labour constraints, said head of GrabFood Singapore Dilip Roussenaly at a media event for the kitchen’s official launch on Wednesday (8 January).

GrabKitchen soft-launched its services in early-December.

The kitchen also allows merchants to use it as “an experimental platform to churn out new products, change the menu and pricing” to test customers’ reactions, he added.

At the same time, it provides more dining options for those living in the vicinity, such as Bukit Batok, said Roussenaly. He noted that there is an average of two GrabFood merchants for every 1,000 population in the district, compared with an overall average of 3.7 for every 1,000 population across the country.

The selection of brands for the kitchen was handpicked based on GrabFood app searches in the area, he added.

Each merchant occupies a 15 to 21 sqm space, with some contracted up to a year. Roussenaly declined to provide figures for the rental fees or the company’s targets.

“It will remain a relatively small proportion of the business,” he noted, adding that GrabFood will take a wait-and-see approach before considering expansion for GrabKitchen in Singapore.

GrabFood has 49 such kitchens in four other South-East Asian countries, mostly in Indonesia, and plans to have more this year, but did not specify the markets. Competitors Foodpanda and Deliveroo also have their own shared kitchens – two and three respectively – in Singapore.

Regional head of GrabFood Lim Kell Jay at the launch event on 8 January, 2020. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

Helping merchants to expand

To further aid merchants, Grab would introduce a “self-serve” platform that allows them to track business performance via the company’s analytics as well as allow them to procure their supplies in bulk at a lower price and deliver to them.

The latter, currently being piloted in Indonesia, is expected to cut costs for these merchants by “up to 10 per cent”, said regional head of GrabFood Lim Kell Jay, adding that the platform has been in development in the past six months.

Small merchants can also apply for small loans via Grab Financial Group to fund their growth on the platform, he added.

Other solutions that would be rolled out in phases this year include integrating GrabFood app orders into merchants’ point-of-sale systems to minimise errors and introducing a feature that allows customers to pick up their own food.

“We believe when we put merchants at the centre of what we do, we enable them to grow with us,” said Lim.

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