Singapore, 29 May 2020 – FairPrice Group and food delivery start-up WhyQ announced today the pilot roll-out of a new F&B digital platform Marketplace@WhyQ. Initiated by FairPrice Group as a community initiative in partnership with WhyQ, Marketplace@WhyQ is purpose-built for the local F&B community, especially the smaller food establishments. It enables islandwide delivery at zero commission to vendors. This is in response to the lack of affordable delivery platforms, an issue that has been in the spotlight recently due to increased demand of food delivery options for F&B establishments amid safe distancing measures. Close to 100 stallholders ranging from food courts, coffee shops, hawkers to restaurants have registered for onboarding to date.
Since March 2020, increasingly stringent measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 have left many F&B operators with the sole option of offering delivery and takeaway to continue operations. Whilst larger and more tech-savvy food businesses transited to delivery platforms, smaller food establishments struggled to keep up. These smaller food establishments faced more difficulties in accessing digital platforms due to high commission fees, manpower considerations, and a perception that it is difficult to incorporate technology into their business. Marketplace@WhyQ seeks to address these difficulties for F&B operators.
Unlike most online delivery platforms, vendors on Marketplace@WhyQ are not required to pay any commission or set-up fee. A small 6% markup on food price will be used to offset payment gateway and server costs for the platform.
In addition, Marketplace@WhyQ offers flexible delivery options for vendors – they may either tap on WhyQ delivery or opt for self-delivery. Since the implementation of ‘circuit breaker’ measures, many F&B operators have made their own arrangements for delivery and some customers may already be familiar with the current delivery process. For such vendors, they can join Marketplace@WhyQ and undertake the self-delivery option, where the delivery fee will be paid to them directly. They will enjoy the platform’s digital ordering and payment system, which improves overall productivity. It shortens ordering time, enables digital payment and eliminates manual processes. The platform also has a ‘set discount’ function where vendors can activate promotions instantly with a click.
With islandwide delivery, consumers can look forward to a wide variety of accessible and affordable food options. Marketplace@WhyQ features some well-known food vendors such as Beng Who Cooks that is run by two young Singaporean hawkers; heritage brand Li Xin Fishball Noodles that prides itself for using 100% yellow-tail fish with no preservatives; and popular hotpot restaurant chain COCA and more.
Mr Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO of NTUC Enterprise and FairPrice Group shared, “Many F&B businesses have been badly affected during this challenging Covid-19 period as they can only turn to deliveries and takeaways to continue operations, thereby accelerating the pace of digital transformation within the industry. As such, FairPrice Group has been searching for a solution in the local landscape to address some of these concerns for the F&B operators. We are glad to announce this partnership with WhyQ, where FairPrice Group acts as an enabler for local food businesses who wish to ride the digital wave and adopt digital solutions to access new revenue streams. This community initiative is consistent with FairPrice Group’s “Everything Food Made Easy” business philosophy.”
Mr Seah added, “With WhyQ, we are aligned in our goal of supporting local food businesses. WhyQ has the technical and onboarding experience in managing a delivery platform. We hope to encourage more stallholders and establishments to join this zero-commission platform, especially those who have been unable or reluctant to get onboard food delivery platforms in the past.”
Mr Varun Saraf, co-founder of WhyQ, said, “Marketplace@WhyQ is a community platform that enables all food vendors to digitise their offerings with no commission fees, no onboarding charges and a transparent, distance-based delivery fee. It empowers vendors and gives them ownership over discounts and pricing to customers. The idea is to encourage as many F&B players, especially smaller food establishments, to operate delivery-enabled virtual stores at no cost; and passing on discounts to benefit consumers to order online. We are glad to have found a partner in FairPrice Group, which shares our vision of empowering local food businesses and supporting our local food vendors, especially during this tough period.”
Marketplace@WhyQ, owned wholly by WhyQ, is a separate platform from its Hawker platform “WhyQ: Shiok Hawker Food Delivery”, whereby the latter is a food delivery service for stalls in hawker centres only.
More details of Marketplace@WhyQ will be announced at a later stage. The public may visit https://marketplace.whyq.sg; or download the WhyQ app on iOS and Android app store and select “Marketplace@WhyQ” in the WhyQ app. Interested food vendors may visit https://marketplace.whyq.sg/vendor for more information.
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