Local F&B chain sets sights on new growth avenues

Local food and beverage chain White Restaurant, popular for its white bee hoon, is looking at selling off-the-shelf food products and expanding into the international market.

Managing director Victor Tay, 39, shared that the company may also add express outlets to its current fleet of six restaurants as part of its growth plans.

These outlets would be smaller, self-service restaurants requiring fewer staff, he said.

"The reason why we're looking at smaller restaurants is partly due to manpower constraints, but also because we've seen an increase in takeaway and delivery orders during this Covid-19 period," Mr Tay said.

Opening these self-service outlets would allow it to meet takeaway and delivery needs, and reach customers in parts of Singapore its current restaurants are unable to cater to, he added.

Mr Tay and the company's recently hired chief executive Alan Wah were among the 60 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) leaders participating in the first run of the Enterprise Leadership for Transformation programme, which was launched yesterday.

Besides expanding its fleet of restaurants here, White Restaurant is also looking at selling condiments like its chilli sauce, and ready-to-eat versions of its white bee hoon.

"These products can also be exported for sale," Mr Tay said.

He hopes that the one-year programme will also help the firm better understand its opportunities overseas, such as markets it should explore.

So far, he has attended modules on handling changes in management and financing, which have given him new insights.

"As a small SME, you are usually firefighting and focusing on the day-to-day operations.

"But through this (finance) module, (we can better understand issues such as) how to get financing, how much reserves we need to have," Mr Tay said.

Choo Yun Ting