No Signboard to launch hawker-themed fast food chain

NO Signboard Holdings is launching a chain of fast-food outlets that serves hawker food-themed burgers, wraps and buns, the restaurant chain announced on Wednesday before the market opened.

The "Hawker" brand will launch through its wholly owned subsidiary Hawker QSR Pte Ltd, previously known as NSB Quick Service Restaurants Pte Ltd.

The group plans to debut its first outlet by end-2018 and have at least three outlets by early 2019 in Singapore's central, East and West regions.

The Catalist-listed player estimated setup costs of around S$0.5 million per outlet, and the venture will be initially be 20 per cent funded by No Signboard’s IPO (initial public offering) proceeds, and 80 per cent through bank loans.

No Signboard is applying for Halal certification and 24-hour permits for the new outlets, which will have features like self-cashiering point-of-sale and free Wifi.

“For the first time after over 30 years of being in the seafood restaurant business, our group is branching out to fast-moving and higher turnaround fast food business,” said No Signboard’s executive chairman and chief executive Sam Lim, adding that it was in line with the group’s strategy of diversifying the restaurant business portfolio.

The Hawker brand will "enable us to serve a different demographic and consumer group from our traditional seafood restaurant business", Mr Lim said.

To expand beyond its dining-in capacity, No Signboard announced it is in discussions with food delivery platforms such as GrabFood, Deliveroo and FoodPanda to generate more takeway sales.

No Signboard does not expect the launch to have any material impact on the group’s net tangible assets per share or earnings per share for the fiscal year ended Sept 30, 2018.

Its counter advanced 7.9 per cent or 1.5 Singapore cents to 20.5 Singapore cents as at 9.23am on Wednesday.