SINGAPORE: HungryGoWhere will cease operations next month, the food and beverage portal said on Tuesday (Jun 8).
“After serving Singapore’s diners for an amazing 15 years, HungryGoWhere.com will be ceasing operations, and our last day of service is Jul 11, 2021,” it said in a Facebook post.
“We hope that we’ve helped make dining out a better experience for you, and that you will continue to support the awesome restaurants, eateries and hawkers in Singapore.
"Thank you for being with us all these years and we are really proud to have served you."
In response to CNA queries, a Singtel spokesperson said that the closure was a result of the "severe challenges" faced in the industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In line with the Group’s business refocus, we have conducted a detailed review of HungryGoWhere and explored various options for the business," the spokeperson said.
"However, it has faced severe challenges posed by competitive pressure in the industry which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"As a result, we have decided to exit the restaurant reservations market."
The spokesperson said that most of HungryGoWhere’s 13-member team had been redeployed to other roles within the Singtel Group and that re-employment assistance was offered to the rest.
"We thank the F&B community and diners for their support over the past 15 years," the spokesperson said.
"We remain committed to innovating new digital products and services, as well as building and strengthening partnerships that enrich our customers’ lifestyles."
REWARDS PROGRAMME AND RESERVATIONS
As part of the closure, the HungryRewards programme will be discontinued on Jun 30. Users can transfer outstanding “Hungry$” into Singtel Dash credits. Hungry$ not transferred by Jun 30 will be voided.
"If you have made a reservation with us, the restaurant would have already received your information and the reservation is confirmed," HungryGoWhere said in an FAQ published for customers.
"If your reservation date falls on July 12, 2021, or later, please call the restaurant to re-confirm your booking."
The portal will continue to accept reservations for dates until Jul 11. Existing reservations can also be changed via the portal until then.
HungryGoWhere will not be charging its merchant partners any fees for June and July "to thank (them) for their support".
All content on HungryGoWhere will be taken offline at the end of the day on Jul 11, and the portal has advised users to save any content they would like to retain, such as food reviews, before then.
It has likewise advised merchants to download reservation information by Jul 11.
ACQUIRED BY SINGTEL IN 2012 FOR S$12 MILLION
Founded in 2006 by Mr Wong Hoong An, Mr Dennis Goh and Mr Tan Yung Yih, HungryGoWhere gained popularity as a food review site, and grew to offer restaurant reservations, dining deals, dining rewards, and articles on food and drinks in Singapore.
HungryGoWhere’s parent company GTW Holdings was acquired for S$12 million by Singtel in May 2012 with the telco aiming “to re-shape culinary experiences across Asia”.
HungryGoWhere’s operations were merged with Singtel’s lifestyle and search site inSing.com, “creating an audience of two million customers - the largest food and lifestyle audience in Singapore” the telco said at the time.
inSing.com has also ceased operations, with its last post on Facebook dated Aug 26, 2019.
In the month of its acquisition, HungryGoWhere had 4.1 million page views, and this had doubled to 8.2 million page views by May 2014, according to a TODAY report in October 2014.