"Businesses in [the F&B] industry need to strike a balance between the two to ensure that they are not alienating their customers while incorporating technology. This is why we offer both the self-ordering kiosks and main ordering counters in our restaurants. This way, customers who aren't comfortable with self-ordering technology can order directly from their favourite crew members, while customers who are comfortable with it can order through the kiosks," he added.
The future of the F&B sector
When asked about the future of the F&B sector in Singapore, Boh said that "many aspects of the business will be automated [due to] the need for hyper-productivity and efficiency despite the labour crunch. Labour will be redeployed to more high-value added tasks such as customer service and food preparation."
Mobile ordering will also be critical for F&B companies in future. "Singaporeans are becoming more time pressed, which is why customers look to brands to create solutions that are based on their lifestyles. Customers should not have to be at the restaurant to order their food, but to be able to order their food while they are out and about for the ultimate convenience. We are already seeing this trend through the McDelivery website and mobile application," Boh stated.
Boh also provided advice on digital transformation in the interview. Firstly, he urged IT leaders to keep up with tech trends and "deploy the most relevant solution" to their business.
Secondly, IT leaders should ensure that their teams have the "competency to generate customer insights", which can be a key differentiator in the digital age.
Finally, he encouraged IT leaders to involve most - if not, all-departments in digital transformation projects. "Digital transformation typically impacts [how nearly] every department works so it is critical to get them involved from day 1. [All in all, everyone] must understand why is there a need to transform; more so than what to transform. Buy-in is key," Boh concluded.
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