Restaurants in Singapore are popping up like mushrooms after a rainy day. Nearly 700 new restaurants were registered in the first nine months of 2019 alone. This growth however, is paired with the closure of 492 restaurants during the same time period, prompting us here at Blackbox to explore Singaporeans’ changing habits when it comes to F&B.
First of all, Singaporeans still prefer the cheaper alternatives over fancy restaurants or big chain fast food. On average, Singaporeans have eaten a sit-down meal in a coffee shop or food court 6.5 times in the past four weeks, compared to mid-range restaurants (2.5 times) and fast food restaurants (2.4 times).
Our latest YKA survey also reveals a growing preference with food delivery services offered through the convenience of mobile apps. Four in five Singaporeans now order through online food delivery. Of those who have, nearly half (48%) feel they are doing so more frequently compared to 12 months ago. Singaporeans’ top 3 food delivery apps today are Grab Food (44%), Food Panda (25%) and McDonalds (16%).
Are these popular apps responsible for killing the traditional restaurant sector? Singaporeans are more likely to point the finger at high rental costs (70%) and entrepreneurs rushing in without sufficient prior knowledge (41%) before blaming food delivery services (37%).
On balance, 62% say they believe food delivery services are good for the F&B sector while only 7% think they are bad. Once again, consumers have given a thumbs up to the benefits of disruption, so the sector will clearly need to come to terms with these behavioural changes.