The Way Ahead For HR In Singapore’s F&B Industry

Singapore's F&B Industry

Editor’s note: Frontier e-HR partners with HR Tech platforms to help future-proof businesses through better workforce management, aligning with Singapore’s Go Digital efforts for SMEs.

It is our pleasure to co-author this article with James Chia, CEO of ArcLab, an intuitive Nano-learning platform that helps organisations create effective training to improve employee job performance – to share how Effective Casual Labour Management and Systemising Processes can help bring F&B Businesses onto the next lap.

Singapore is always known as a global city with a vibrant Food & Beverage (F&B) industry. However, 1 in 4 F&B businesses in Singapore go out of business, many within only their first year of operations. Ranging from hawkers to cafes, to high-end fine dining restaurants and even reputable Michelin stars restaurants are not spared.

Despite the many ready-made tech and software solutions supported by the Singapore government grants, it is still a highly demanding industry to be in. These are some of the major challenges faced by HR in Singapore’s F&B industry:

Casual Labour Management

One of the biggest challenges faced by HR in F&B businesses is casual labour management. The employment laws are stringent and ever-changing, making it difficult to hire, train and retain people.  Hence, businesses turn to casual labour management solutions which allow them to adapt to constant changes, from changing staff, changing competition to changing expectations of customers.  

Having a consolidated and unified solution will save precious time in planning the working schedule and payroll processing. F&B businesses can reduce their labour costs as well by having an accurate and statutory compliance workforce management system solution. Employees are empowered at a click of a button to view and swap their working schedules, removing the tedious process of manual approvals. Managers are also able to make use of dashboard tools that can assist them in future labour forecasting.

Bad workforce management can lead to undesirable consequences such as poor employee engagement, lack of visibility, increased stress for managers, lost revenue, and reputation for the business. This eventually leads to low employee morale, which can lead to good talent leaving your company.

Frontier-eHR Workforce Management System Solution

Systemising Processes

The hallmark of any good F&B business: every dish sent in front of the diner is ALWAYS delicious.

To CONSISTENTLY produce good-quality food & beverage offerings, standard operating procedures (SOPs) are extremely important. SOPs systemise the workflow for the workforce so that the recipe in the Head Chef’s head can be replicated dish after dish for diners’ enjoyment. Teaching SOPs is in fact part of new employee onboarding and upskilling.

SOPs are essential not only for the actual production of the dish but also for every other process in F&B operation. Be it health-and-safety processes, or customer service – how to arrange the napkins etc to be ‘on-brand’. In today’s COVID-normal, other important SOPs are the arrangement of seating to ensure safe distancing, disinfecting the outlet, as well as new procedures related to food delivery operations.

Traditionally, SOPs are detailed in hard copy and often filed in folders. This presented a few problems for F&B businesses:

  1. Takes up precious space in typically cramped back-of-house setups.
  2. Can get oily and grimy from day-to-day F&B ops
  3. Gets outdated as SOPs change, and considerable effort is needed to update them.

A much better way is to have SOPs that are digital. This solves the 3 problems above, and it can now also be made available to every single staff in the outlet or restaurant. Staff can now access SOPs and other training material right on their smartphones.

Arclab Nano Learning

Achieved efficiencies in time and cost can then be channelled towards improving the F&B business operations, and thrive in the competitive landscape.


Find out how Frontier e-HR solution will support you with the information on how to best staff your business during the busiest periods:

See how ArcLab can empower your F&B Business to digitise your SOPs and other training materials, fuss-free:

 | About the Author

Jian Jie has a degree in Commerce, double majoring in Human Resource Management and Work & Employment Relations from The University of Western Australia. Having served his National Service in the Commandos vocation, he spends his leisure time exercising to keep fit and his favourite sport is soccer.