The quest to bring classics to the convenience store
Finding a freshly-prepared, quality meal that is convenient and tasty can sometimes be a tall order.
Add "reasonably-priced" to the equation and it becomes a near-impossible feat.
But 7-Eleven has turned that challenge into a mission, addressing that need with its range of fresh-chilled Ready-To-Eat meals.
Some of Singaporeans' favourite dishes like butter chicken briyani, nasi lemak, spaghetti chicken bolognaise, hor fun and braised duck rice - all prepared with fresh ingredients.
For Mrs Rachel Liang, senior category manager for 7-Eleven Singapore, together with a team of about six people, creating a new range was a mission taken to heart. The food had to be up there with the best versions of that dish.
The process started simply - a survey to find out which top dishes tantalise the taste buds of Singaporeans.
The dishes such as nasi lemak and chicken rice both ranked highly.
Then came the legwork.
The team then sought out and focused on the eateries - both high-end restaurants and hawker centres - well-known for these dishes.
Of course, that also came with the perk of doing taste tests.
Mrs Liang, 33, told The New Paper that it is not just a case of order-and-eat when doing research: "We note the appearance, aroma and taste, so that we get the right proportions."
Then came sourcing for the best ingredients.
Getting it right means going through a number of iterations.
In each case, when a final recipe is given the go-ahead, a select group of 7-Eleven customers are then given a chance to put it through a taste test.
Even then, each dish will undergo a few more rounds of testing until it gets that all important seal of approval.
All the meals are prepared with fresh ingredients and sent to outlets the same day to ensure maximum quality.
For Ms Liang, overseeing this process gives her a sense of personal satisfaction.
She said: "I feel inspired to create something for Singaporeans to try and that is the enjoyment of this job.
"I want to raise the bar and improve the quality of the products such that customers immediately think of 7-Eleven when they think of lunch or dinner options."