guides & articles

Related listings

Latest Postings

Subscribe to the hottest news, latest promotions & discounts from STClassifieds & our partners

I agree to abide by STClassifieds Terms and Conditions

Gadgets & Home Improvement

Firm's tablet software helps eateries cut costs

A new breed of companies has emerged to help food and beverage operators who cannot find enough workers to do work, from cleaning dishes to serving customers
The Straits Times - February 25, 2013
| More
Firm's tablet software helps eateries cut costs Mr Khadepaun showing off the software he believes will help eateries lower their labour costs. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE'S labour-shortage woes prompted Mr Samir Khadepaun, 35, to leave his hometown in India to set up a company here.

Ten months ago, he opened Mobikon Asia, a one-stop solutions firm specifically for the food and beverage industry.

While he had no customers here two months ago, he said, he now has 75, including IndoChine and Swensen's.

He supplies computer tablets installed with software modules he designed, from e-menus and table reservation systems to customer feedback portals and self-ordering options.

A restaurant, for instance, can prompt guests to fill up a survey on the tablet, such as what their favourite beer is, or if they found service satisfactory. The program will store and organise the data.

"Usually, managers spend one to two hours a day just collating customer data," said Mr Khadepaun.

According to his studies, the feedback module can save a 50-seater eatery $3,000 in manpower expenses a month.

Customers pay a monthly fee of $100 to $500, depending on the modules needed. Training and consultation is a one-time payment of $1,000 to $2,000.

The business was a $2 million investment, with money raised with the help of Spring Seeds Capital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Spring Singapore, which helps to co-finance start-ups here that have innovative products and a strong growth potential across international markets.

Angel investors and venture capital firms also contributed to the pot. Mr Khadepaun operates a four-man team and has two business partners who are permanent residents here.

The computer engineering graduate, who hopes to use Singapore as a springboard to expand into South-east Asia, started an online advertising firm in Mumbai in 2009 that morphed into helping clients boost their operational efficiency and customer database.

"We realised these were the main issues they were grappling with," he said, adding that his customers in India were mainly restaurants too. "Many of the chains we worked with had a presence in Singapore as well.

"They complained about manpower shortages here. They told me that their workers were overworked and they had problems retaining them," added the employment pass holder whose wife and child will move here this year.

"They told me that systems were not in place here and staff kept changing every three months. It sounded like a good time to come," said Mr Khadepaun, who expects his business here to be profitable next year.


Used iPhones refurbished with useful apps to benefit senior citizens