After finishing his college training in Canada, Raphael Kan co-founded an funding administration agency in San Francisco and joined a Shanghai-based startup because the Chief Monetary Officer (CFO).
When he was in Shanghai, he got here throughout an issue within the meals supply business and seized the chance to develop an answer.
Like most working adults, Raphael discovered it hassling to search out reasonably priced, but genuine Shanghainese fare on meals supply platforms. This was additionally an issue he couldn’t keep away from in Singapore, the place he was at all times offered with the identical few choices on supply platforms.
That was when the thought sparked — “I believed it could be actually helpful if we will discover a sustainable approach to work with the perfect road meals distributors and unbiased eateries to create a meals supply service”, he shares.
That was how he got here up with the thought to start out up Singapore-based meals supply service Livingmenu in 2018.
Bridging app customers with the native meals scene
Retaining in thoughts the exasperation that he and different supply app customers face, Raphael based Livingmenu on the premise of making a world the place individuals can eat effectively affordably, conveniently and make a optimistic social influence all collectively.
As an avid meals lover, Raphael finds the native meals scene’s inaccessibility to prospects by way of supply purposes a pity. These native hawkers and unbiased eateries embody Singapore’s native culinary tradition, however they appear to be lacking out on leveraging the rise of on-demand meals deliveries not like fast service eating places.
This was why Raphael made the trouble to make sure that Livingmenu gives them the required connections with Livingmenu riders to ship meals to buyer’s doorstep — with no markup, no minimal order and no hidden price.
For hawkers, signature dishes will be ready on a bulk foundation by way of Livingmenu’s pre-order mannequin, which maximises their effectivity throughout under-utilised hours earlier than the lunch crowd is available in. In return, these hawkers may obtain suggestions on the reception of their menu that may assist them enhance.
Raphael highlighted that Livingmenu’s fee scheme can also be “decrease than the everyday fee charged by on-demand platforms”.
To strengthen the connection between customers and the individuals behind the native meals scene, Raphael and his group have not too long ago printed the Livingmenu Information.
The information introduces reasonably priced dishes from the hawkers and eateries which can be obtainable on the app for lower than S$10 a month so customers can maintain themselves up to date on hidden meals gems in Singapore.
Not your typical meals supply app
Apart from the trouble to attach Singapore’s native meals scene with its customers, Raphael shares that there are different causes that permit Livingmenu to face out from different meals supply platforms.
He notes that on-demand meals supply customers have a tendency to decide on among the many similar few distributors each time as a result of they’re the one ones obtainable within the 5 kilometers radius the place supply charges are thought-about cheap, to not point out having to pay a peak hour surcharge at instances.
In distinction, Livingmenu delivers reasonably priced meals from Singapore’s top-rated distributors. Charging a flat price of below S$3.95 for as much as 30 kilometres radius, Livingmenu gives reasonably priced supply with out compromising supply velocity, since they ship by automotive, with just a few full-time drivers and near 50 freelance drivers.
Customers may even confer with a daily-revolving menu to combine and match orders from as much as eight distributors in a single supply.
Whereas on-demand meals supply resembles extra of a logistic enterprise, Livingmenu goals to concentrate on a special ball recreation to unravel the inefficiencies in in the present day’s meals service worth chain. Based on Raphael, this includes optimising the utilisation of manpower and kitchen house through the off-peak hours.
Nonetheless, organising Livingmenu was not at all times a smooth-sailing journey. “[We] must consistently adapt to the newest market suggestions,” says Raphael.
He stands agency together with his mentality to repeatedly innovate, as an alternative of caving in to simply accept the established order of how issues are completed within the business, which in itself is a problem.
Earlier than the onset of Covid-19, Raphael highlighted that Livingmenu centered on business-to-business (B2B) as their preliminary go-to-market technique and operated a cloud kitchen. Nonetheless, their income dwindled to zero.
“[We] knew we needed to shortly adapt to the behavioural change with a view to survive. This finally led to the event of the meals supply service. Trying again, it’s positively extra of a chance as a result of we have been capable of innovate and seize new calls for within the aftermath.”
Slowly, by incomes the belief and assist from their vendor companions, supply companions and prospects, incremental modifications have been made and Livingmenu continued to develop and enhance from there.
“We knew in a short time after our launch that that is going to be successful due to the excessive variety of repeat purchases from our customers,” he provides.
Now, having raised over S$3 million, Livingmenu has grown to ship over 20,000 meals a month in Singapore on the weekdays alone.
It additionally noticed a year-on-year gross merchandise quantity (GMV) development of 700 per cent — and this determine is ready to extend as extra start to crave for native meals simply hours away from them.
Livingmenu strives to take care of a aggressive edge, and is planning to launch a brand new service throughout the subsequent two months to seize the B2B and weekend calls for.
“Our long-term mission is to assist the perfect hawkers, cooks and meals entrepreneurs succeed, and to create an ecosystem that helps maintain the native meals tradition, not simply in Singapore, however the entire of Southeast Asia and past.”