StaffAny Asks: “Biggest Challenge of the F&B Industry”

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We were recently at the world’s leading Food Services and Hospitality event, FHA – HoReCa, where we had a chance to speak to industry professionals about what they think.

We asked them: “What do you think is the biggest challenge that the F&B Industry is facing?”

Here’s what they had to say:

, StaffAny Asks: “Biggest Challenge of the F&B Industry”

“The biggest challenge, I feel, is the labour crunch. Because right now, as a retail business, in order for me to operate, it’s challenging for us to hire – and especially hire the right people. I feel like there are many things in the market to assist us. Technology and automation is definitely a key part of bridging the cap.”

– Melvin Yap, Mellower Coffee, Project Sales and Business Development Officer


– Cheong Chung Kin, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, Chairman
, StaffAny Asks: “Biggest Challenge of the F&B Industry”

“Well, I don’t want to go into the biggest challenge because it’s sustainability. It’s all about the world. But the next second challenge is to have a soul: because the restaurants, instead of doing a job that is unique, they start doing the same as the others, and they lose the charm of what it was. The people should eat your food, and really feel that you are behind it. The hands of the chef is lost, and now the industry is on top. We have to go back to that.”

– Marcos González, Mibrasa, Corporate Chef

“The biggest challenge in F&B… I think that is the feeling of the customer. There are many good chefs out there. In the kitchen, it’s easy to care about what happens in the kitchen, but it’s hard to care about the customer’s thinking and feelings.”

– Keith Koh, Collin’s, Chef

“Today, based on some of the experiences and discussions I have with some of the employers out there, and plus friends who are actually operating F&B, I think one of the biggest challenge is the staffing problem here in Singapore. Basically, because of the level of education that we have here in Singapore, right, a lot of the younger folks are not attracted to this industry, unfortunately. They prefer something much easier. F&B, as you know, is quite a challenging environment.

Because we are so developed, we’re kind of spoiled for choice as well. There are so many job opportunities around that they can go into rather than F&B. But if it’s something that you like to do, I think it’s something that will bring you a lot of happiness. So, depending on where you see yourself in the next couple of years, it’s also going to be difficult to robotically replace F&B folks.”

– Erik Lee, Actek College, Baking Instructor
, StaffAny Asks: “Biggest Challenge of the F&B Industry”

“Very difficult to find people. One of the reasons is people want… now looking for higher and higher pay? But actually they’re not delivering higher and higher quality job? I mean, it’s the same quality job, but they want higher pay. Because the cost of living is high, what. We understand lah. But the cost of business is getting higher, not because of higher quality work, but just higher pay. Of course people choose jobs, so working environment is one thing. Learning opportunities is another. But sometimes, if you’re trying to learn something, you learn lah. And you’re not paid to learn what, right?

You can say, “I’m not a barista, I don’t know anything about coffee, but I’m willing to learn.” If you’re willing to learn, then you learn. You pay me school fees, I’ll teach you. But they say, “I’m willing to learn, but I expect this salary. But I’m willing to learn.”

– An Industry Professional of 13 Years

“Manpower always an issue. Even if you pay them well, you can’t get them to stay. How else can we make them stay?”

– Jason Lee – Sales Op, Redman by Phoon Huat

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