Singapore

F&B sector on course for recovery due to digital adoption

The food and beverage sector (F&B) is on a path of steady recovery, with many companies seeing their revenues back to 70 per cent to 80 per cent of pre-Covid-19 sales.

And a big driver of this recovery is from companies that embraced digital adoption, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing yesterday during a visit to Swee Choon Tim Sum Restaurant.

He noted that more restaurants and eateries have turned to selling food and beverages online even after Singapore lifted the circuit breaker in June.

The food services sector contributes about 1.1 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product and employs about 5.5 per cent of the country's workforce.

Mr Chan noted that from January to October, the number of applications for the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) in the F&B sector was more than four times that of the same period last year.

So far, more than 2,700 PSG applications for IT solutions have been approved this year.

Mr Chan said the Government will continue to support F&B players with various initiatives to help them adopt digital technologies.

For example, companies can get digital marketing support through the Enterprise Development Grant or sign up for subsidised digital marketing courses.

Various initiatives under the SMEs Go Digital programme also help companies use digital technologies, such as the Digital Resilience Bonus, where F&B firms can get bonus payouts of up to $10,000.

Mr Chan also encouraged companies to test new business models to capture growth opportunities. He noted how catering company Le Rainbow is partnering with the Food Innovation and Resource Centre - a joint initiative between Singapore Polytechnic and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) - to develop ready-to-eat products to increase its revenue streams, given the restrictions on buffets.

Companies can also take advantage of FoodInnovate, a multi-agency initiative led by ESG that helps Singapore food companies to drive food technology and innovations, he said.

As companies digitalise and automate their processes, there are opportunities to redesign jobs to make working in the sector more attractive to locals and reduce its reliance on foreign manpower, said Mr Chan.

Companies can also get course fee subsidies and absentee payroll for some courses through SkillsFuture Singapore's Enhanced Training Support Package for the food services sector, he added.

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Employment