Mr Pang Lim, Chairman, Koufu
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. A very good morning to everyone. I am delighted to be here with you today to witness the official opening of Koufu’s new headquarters. My heartiest congratulations to Koufu on this significant milestone.
2. Since it started two decades ago, Koufu has grown from a neighbourhood coffee shop to a food services group with a chain of more than 180 food and beverage (F&B) outlets. Across the island, you can find Koufu food courts, coffee shops and restaurants. Today, Koufu is a familiar icon in the daily life of many Singaporeans. It has become a proudly homegrown brand that contributes to our local food culture.
3. The Government is committed to the growth and development of our food services sector. This key sector plays a vital role in our economy and society. It enhances the diversity of businesses, provides jobs and enriches our cuisine and lifestyle.
4. Earlier this year, we launched the Food Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM) 2025. This refreshed ITM focuses on sparking innovation among F&B companies and encouraging the industry to capture new growth opportunities locally and abroad.
5. Koufu’s experience and the progress it has made set an exemplary model for the food services sector. With its new HQ, Koufu opens another door to new opportunities for success. Let me share my perspectives on three key ways food services companies like Koufu can continue to excel in the near future: (1)Diversify for growth, (2) Digitalise for greater impact, and (3) Deliver new offerings.
Diversifying for growth
6. First, diversifying for growth.
7. Koufu’s new headquarters is a testament to the company’s commitment to deepening its niche capabilities and diversifying for growth.
a. At this HQ, Koufu has integrated a myriad of facilities – from food processing to cloud kitchens and factories for food production. It exemplifies Koufu’s efforts to diversify its product offerings and also consolidate operations to achieve greater efficiency.
b. By diversifying and strengthening its operations, Koufu is stronger and better equipped to withstand future business disruptions. It is also positioning itself for the future.
8. As we move into the post-pandemic new normal, our food services sector abounds with opportunities. As demand and activities rebound, this is the time to press on with business transformation to capture new markets and grow the customer base. The Government will continue to strengthen our support for business transformation in our food services companies. We hope our food companies will take this chance to innovate, transform, improve capabilities and enhance capacity.
9. I am heartened that more than half of the food services companies in Singapore have tapped into our government support schemes like the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to grow and transform. Between 2020 to 2022, close to 6,000 food services companies tapped on the PSG for support to adopt IT solutions, equipment and consultancy services. About 70% of the companies implemented digital solutions such as e-orders, e-procurement and human resource management systems.
10. With a broader base and diversified offerings, you can improve your business resilience and sharpen your competitive advantage. This brings me to my second point, digitalise for greater impact.
Digitalise for greater impact
11. Digitalisation can help your business improve operations, optimise resources, and serve customers better.
a. For example, using Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled equipment and smart kitchen management tools can enhance operational efficiency and save costs.
b. I am glad to hear that Koufu has automated its food processing kitchens and factory processes in this new HQ. The new equipment and system to transfer flour and cool fried products save time and increase productivity. I am looking forward to our tour of Koufu’s factory facilities later.
12. In terms of back-of-house capabilities, digital tools such as data analytics platforms and artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer management systems can help food companies better anticipate and respond to customer needs.
a. I am heartened that Koufu has plans to develop customer-centric digital solutions. For instance, the collection of real-time data across its outlets will enhance the company’s ability to monitor its performance and enable predictive stock-taking.
13. As we press on towards digitalisation, food companies would do well to leverage digital tools for greater business impact. In 2021, close to 90% of the Food Services SMEs have adopted at least one digital solution. As F&B companies continue to digitalise, widen their offerings and enter new markets, the sector stands to gain from more diversified revenue streams than before.
14. Through the Food Services ITM 2025, the Government is committed to supporting food companies in adopting more advanced digital solutions and developing holistic digital and data-driven strategies. We hope that more food services companies will take advantage of the Government’s support and schemes to build their digital capabilities to grow and future-proof their business.
Deliver new offerings
15. Last but not least, I hope our food services companies will continue to innovate and whet the appetite of diners by delivering new offerings with refreshing ideas and flavours.
a. Singapore is known as a food capital with a diverse array of food options. Eating is a national pastime for Singaporeans. Sophisticated and discerning tastebuds here welcome fresh culinary trends and discoveries.
16. From a humble coffee shop 20 years ago, Koufu has now expanded its product and service offerings to cater to diverse customer segments and preferences.
a. Besides the familiar Koufu food courts in the heartlands, the group now boasts of several kinds of food halls differentiated by their brand offerings – from the nostalgic Rasapura Masters in Marina Bay Sands to the option of “no pork, no lard” dining at Fork & Spoon.
b. Koufu has also dished up new food concepts like its elemen stable of restaurants that offer healthy meatless cuisine.
17. In addition, the booming middle class in Asia offers fertile ground for our local food companies to expand into the region.
a. Koufu has ventured overseas to countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. I trust that Koufu will continue to expand its footprint to bring quality F&B experiences to people around the world.
18. Leading food companies such as Koufu contribute to our drive to transform and rejuvenate the food services sector. For instance, Koufu’s cloud kitchens provide smaller F&B players with a chance to level up and benefit from economies of scale.
19. I would like to encourage Koufu to continue partnering with and supporting other players and companies in the food services ecosystem to whet appetites and create new flavours for future growth together.
20. Congratulations on your stellar performance over the two decades. Happy 20th anniversary, Koufu! With your innovative recipe for success, I wish you many more good years ahead and all the very best. Thank you.