Software engineer’s app helps eateries stay afloat

A Singapore software engineer’s food-ordering app has gone global.

A plate of Asian style food.
Singapore’s Covid-19 restrictions included a ban on eating out, which affected local food vendors who rely on takeaway food. Picture: Jason Goh from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 12 (ANA) – With many eatery owners and hawkers struggling to survive during Singapore’s Covid-19 restrictions implemented last year, a software engineer’s food-ordering app developed to help them stay afloat has gone global.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), a Singapore-based broadcaster, various non-profit online food-ordering platforms sprung up during the circuit breaker period, which was a stay-at-home order implemented by the government as a Covid-19 safety measure.

This included a ban on eating out, which affected local food vendors who rely on takeaways.

Founder of the, Youmin Kim, told CNA that he created the platform to give eateries a low-cost way of reaching customers, as the more established platforms such as Foodpanda and GrabFood charge an average of 30–50% commission per order.

“In the new normal, you have to have an online presence and they have to have an online order form to facilitate their food deliveries or pick-up orders,” said Kim.

“It is a little bit of a challenge, but I believe that this is really exciting and I want to power my passion to help small businesses,” he said.

Once the circuit breaker ended in June last year, the app gained more than 300 vendors and now has around 2,000 eateries on board.

Kim has since left his job as a software engineer to focus on the project and turn it into a commercial business, after an additional 2,000 vendors from countries including Nigeria, Pakistan and Malaysia started using the platform.

“I didn’t expect the immediate response… they understood immediately what this was for and they started changing their behaviour,” Kim said in an interview with The Straits Times.

“Previously, they only provided their phone number in their Facebook posts, but now they have also included the WhatsApp order form.

“I think it was a really big moment for me. I was surprised that this is helping shop owners immediately,” he said.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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