'Penguin Eat Shabu', 'FoodStory' confident restaurants and food delivery post-lockdown will continue to grow 'JWD' launches new 'Cold Chain Express Delivery' service to cover supply chain needs for restaurant business

Famous shabu-shabu restaurant “Penguin Eat Shabu” believes the restaurant and food delivery trend will continue to grow post-lockdown. And although in-house sales will gradually improve, but to mitigate risks, delivery service will be developed to become a major revenue earner. Meanwhile, “FoodStory”, the developer of applications for restaurants, said COVID-19 has motivated the operators to adjust themselves and rely on applications for food delivery as well as to source raw materials and to support pre-orders. At the same time, JWD is in the process of developing the “Cold Chain Hub & Express Delivery” raw material and express goods transport center to support the restaurant business.

Mr. Thanapong Wongchinsri, founder and executive of Penguin Eat Shabu, revealed that the restaurant chain has been opened for more than five years. Following the COVID-19 pandemic situation until today, seven branches have reopened for business. During the closure of shopping centers at the order of the central government and Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), the restaurant chain has adapted by developing a menu that catered to delivery services, such as Wagyu Beef Kraprao on Rice, Shabu-Shabu sets, etc., and joined up with various food delivery applications – a novel move that it has never done before. The chain chose to provide pre-order delivery services (for next-day delivery) that were well received by customers.

However, during the trial period at the beginning some delay occurred. So, the chain decided to become business partners with “FoodStory”, the developer of food delivery applications and JWD InfoLogistics Public Company Limited (JWD) who has the expertise in the logistics business to deliver food orders to customers in temperature-controlled vehicles through pre-orders.

“Following the relaxation of the lockdown procedure that allowed in-house dining, it was found that stand-alone restaurants (located outside shopping malls) showed increasing sales but not yet up to pre-COVID-19 level. It was noted that the customers have changed their behavior to not arriving in big groups and were more attentive about cleanliness. However, the chain will continue to provide delivery services as a major revenue earner to mitigate risks, with the plan to continuously develop new dishes to add to the ‘Shabu Delivery’ menu while also cooperating more closely with business partners,” Mr. Thanapong said.

Mr. Thagoon Chartsuthiphol, Founder and CEO of Living Mobile Company Limited, the developer of integrated restaurant management applications under the “FoodStory” brand, said the “FoodStory” applications have been developed for over eight years to fulfill the needs of the operators who look for an application that can be applied to increase business efficiency and solve problems related to the management system of the restaurants. It was found that restaurant operators have shown interest and were able to adjust themselves to the application technology both for the restaurant management and for food delivery. That has led more than 10,000 restaurants to use the “FoodStory” applications and that number is set to increase to 25,000 restaurants by yearend.

This application consists of (1) Storefront sale system that is suitable for the restaurant business, buffet, or café. It has been developed to link up with other online platforms to create more sales opportunities, such as, real-time notification of new menus or promotions, reservations, pre-orders for deliveries, etc.; (2) Restaurant management system that include online advanced order for raw materials (for overnight delivery) from suppliers listed on FoodStory Market, and the linkage to inventory management system with JWD as the logistics partner to centrally collect and deliver a variety of raw materials sourced from the suppliers to the restaurants according to the pre-orders by express temperature-controlled delivery vehicles.

The repercussion from COVID-19 pandemic has motivated the restaurant operators to adjust themselves to make use of the application for delivery service and for online ordering of raw materials to save time. At present, although restaurants are now able to provide in-house service, the demand for applications is still robust as the operators see many other benefits such as increased delivery sales, ordering and paying online, reservation, etc.

Mr. Charvanin Bunditkitsada, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO of JWD, an ASEAN top logistics and supply chain solution, said that in the past months, restaurant operators have been impacted by COVID-19 and have shifted from in-house services to deliveries through online platforms, especially by offering fresh, pre-ordered set menus, such as Shabu-Shabu set delivered directly to home that allows customers to pre-order for cooking at home. At the same time they also changed to adopt restaurant management system through food technology applications, such as the ordering and managing of raw materials and reservation.

Therefore, the Company is partnering with CJ Logistics (Thailand) to offer new “JWD Cold Chain & Express Delivery” service, which is the special express delivery by temperature-controlled trucks both chilled and frozen. This is different from other food delivery service as our temperature-controlled delivery trucks can maintain the quality and freshness of the raw materials – a service that has grown from our expertise in logistics and cold storage services.

In addition, JWD is in the process of developing the temperature-controlled raw material and express goods transport center for supply chain servicing the food business in the marketplace to support the restaurant network on the “FoodStory” application that now numbers no less than 10,000 restaurants by taking charge of the service from preparation to collection of raw materials from various suppliers to the central cold storage in Bangna to be categorized before deliveries to the restaurant branches accurately as per orders. This allows the restaurants that use the FoodStory Market to receive goods that have retained the quality and freshness right on time. In addition, the process also helps to save on transport cost as the raw material preparations are centralized at the JWD cold storage and all the orders for deliveries are also centrally collected for both dry and fresh goods.

“We started the provide the ‘Cold Chain Hub & Express Delivery’ service since the beginning of the year. The response has been good with the revenue increasing about 40-60 percent per month. At present, we have more than 100 restaurants as our customer base for the delivery of raw materials and ready-to-cook meals that are all on FoodStory application. By the end of the years, the customer base is expected to increase to 1,200 restaurants,” Mr. Charvanin added.