Asia is a well known haven for delectable cuisines. So it’s no surprise that many startups are using tech to innovate the food business
For working adults in metropolitan cities, breaks are precious commodities. If you have spent the whole morning in a cutthroat workplace negotiating a tough business deal, the last place you want to be in is a loud and crowded food centre. You have to tussle with the lunch crowd and wait in a crawling line so you can get your lunch and wolf in down five minutes (even for many, that is a more than ideal situation).
So in the spirit of preserving sanity in the work environment, many enterprising individuals have developed tech solutions to make lunchtime a little less traumatic. Here are nine Asia-based food tech startups that promises to deliver a superior experience — with good service and even better food.
Singapore-based startup Clubvivre, founded in 2013, provides an on-demand chef service. For foodies with fine tastebuds but suck at cooking, this service delivers exquisite dishes for any occasion including Christmas and Chinese New Year functions and cocktail parties.
The service has over 50 chefs on the staff, so expect a eclectic mix of dishes including Western, Japanese and even fusion food. Inside each chef’s profile is a menu of dishes he or she can cook. Users then select the menu of their choice and the appropriate chef will be sent down to the function’s location — be it a home or an office.
High end cooking equipment is optional but the customer’s kitchen has to be stocked with basic necessities such as stove and pot (the chefs would bring their own chef knives).
A cocktail party can go for as low as S$33 (US$24) per person (minimum of 20), while a Chinese New Year function starts from S$86 (U$62) per person (minimum of eight).
Singapore-based hawker.today is an on-demand local food marketplace app available on both the Android and iOS platform. It aims to help small food businesses deliver hawker food to customers through the app.
To order, users enter their postal code in the app and hawker.today will trawl through its database searching for the nearest hawker centre, users then select their preferred store and choice of meals from the menu.
To minimise delivery time, hawker.today is leveraging on its trademarked e-hawker technology to optimise delivery route patterns using machine learning. It underwent beta testing last August and was officially launched in the beginning of this year.
QJump is a foodmarket place mobile app developed by Singapore-based startup Above Ground. Its aim, as the name suggests, is to cut out the hassle of queueing and allow user to order food in advance. Once they have placed their order, users have to come down in person to self collect or dine-in.
In its FAQ, QJUMP emphasises that it is not a reservation app. So while you may have purchased the dine-in option, the restaurants reserve the right not to reserve a table for you and your companions. QJUMP is currently available on the iOS. The Android version is currently in development.
On-demand snack delivery service Bangkok-based startup Polpa is in the business of helping people watch their waistline and prevent an early death from an over-ingestion of rich, oily and processed food.
In its menu, it offers only healthy snacks made from natural, organic ingredients. Each food item is displayed with a basic description of its nutritional benefits. For example, its “Chicken Superfood Salad” is listed as gluten-free, wheat-free and low in carb.
If Polpa is too pretentiously healthy for your tastebuds, then Thailand-based Wishbeer — with its vast assortment of exquisite beers from across the globe — should be your choice of poison.
Founded in 2012 by a group of beer enthusiasts, Wishbeer aimed to import premium beers into Thailand with less-than-premium prices. It stocks all kinds of beers – from the Pale Ales, Dark Lagers, to even exotic Herb-Spiced beers. For the health-conscious folks who still insist on staying on the straight and narrow, there’s even gluten-free beer.
Founded in 2015, Malaysia-based platform Statz is a customer feedback service for restaurants. Using the Statz app, customers can scan a “StatzBox” code in a restaurant which takes them to the related feedback form.
Upon completion, users are rewarded with deals, claims and discounts.
Developed by Thailand-based startup Living Mobile, FoodStory is an app for food business owners to manage their restaurants, and for customers to connect with these restaurants.
For restaurant owners, it offers a POS system, inventory management, eMenu, business reports and e-promotion system.
Malaysia-based food delivery service Signature Snack delivers healthy and fresh snacks to your doorstep through a monthly subscription service. Users can select from over 50 snack choices via categories such as its “low carb mix”, “surprise snack”, “healthy nut mix”, et cetera.
Signature Snack claims its ingredients are 100 per cent natural with no addition of preservatives.
For a 12 month subscription, it costs RM767 (US$185) per year. A little pricey but it is certainly a much healthy option to blowing it on popcorn and chips.
Indonesia-based startup Makanluar is an online reservations platform for restaurants. Customers can browse through e-menus, pictures of the place before making a selection. There is a rewards system which gives out free meals to loyal customers. Currently it is only available in Jakarta, Bandung, and Denpasar.
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