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App helps Sentosa beach bar serve customers better

Coastes at Sentosa's Siloso Beach is improving its staff productivity and enhancing customers' experience with the use of its Digital Menu app.

SINGAPORE: Coastes at Sentosa serves about 500 customers in a week - 200 customers on a weekday and about 300 on a weekend. The Siloso Beach restaurant and bar only has about six service staff for each 10-hour shift, and said the Digital Menu app has also enhanced customer experience by simplifying the ordering process, cutting queues and waiting time.

Ms Heather Seow, Managing Director of Coastes, says the ordering process time has decreased while revenue has increased: "The process that used to take 5.6 minutes - we've had the Singapore Productivity Board do a study for us - is now cut down to 1.6 minutes. So that saved us a lot of time. The customers are also able to re-order from where they are sitting, which was where we had a problem - we couldn't upsell our products. Our revenue has increased by at least 20 per cent, if not more. Part of the reason is that we have expanded."

Service staff also said they now have more time to interact with customers and orders are also delivered a lot faster. Coastes' floor staff Kristian Osio, explained how the app saves precious time for them: "As a wait staff, it helps us a lot, because it cuts through the process of serving customers. Instead of wait staff going one by one to each table, the guest has the option to order via the app. Instead of queuing and taking a bit longer to order, it gives wait staff enough time to prepare the food faster."

SPRING Singapore funded up to 70 per cent of the costs which Coastes incurred from reinventing its business processes. Labour Chief and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Lim Swee Say said in a challenging business environment, technology can help both customers and workers simultaneously.

"At this establishment, they are using technology to not only enhance the customer's experience, but more importantly, to redefine the job of the workers," he said. "And by doing so, workers will now have a new job definition, a new role to play. And at the same time, along the way, they will acquire new skills and new expertise, and thereby create new career pathways." 

Separately, Mr Lim reiterated a point that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made at his National Day Rally on Sunday (Aug 17). Mr Lee had stressed that Singaporeans can achieve success through different routes, regardless of their academic qualifications. He also announced a tripartite committee to promote skills-based career advancement, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Said Mr Lim: "As a tripartite partner, we believe the workers, instead of chasing after papers, we want to help them to chase after skills, competencies and knowledge, because we believe that, that's a more sustainable way. But more importantly, it will enable every Singaporean to pursue his full potential."

He also touched on the Prime Minister's call for cultural change in the way Singaporeans view success and value one another. "Not every job requires a university degree. Not every person would want to become a university graduate. So what we have to do really is to continue to create a new mindset by looking at the job (and seeing) how to enhance the job; how we create more opportunities; how we can continue to upgrade every person to purse their passion based on their personal interest and capability," said Mr Lim.