DaBaoNow Singapore is an on-demand food and grocery delivery service started by Melvin Ho, founder of local social enterprise Euforia Singapore. It aims to reinvent the way food is sold digitally and the initiative currently has a growing membership of more than 50 merchants islandwide.
The Current Food Delivery Model
The onset of Circuit Breaker measures meant that more people would be using food delivery platforms and that itself posed issues for the food & beverage (F&B) industry.
“Many F&B businesses have suffered significant losses and are going digital to increase sales, but the current online solutions simply didn’t make sense to me. To many hawkers, the high transaction fees from the three big delivery platforms is not something sustainable,” Melvin said.
Why DaBaoNow Singapore?
With years of experience running a social enterprise, Melvin and his partners were quick to identify the difficulties F&B owners would face once Circuit Breaker kicks in.
“The idea to set up DaBaoNow Singapore came up in the first 2 weeks of Circuit Breaker. My partners and I are foodies and we were worried if F&B establishments, especially the small hawkers, would be able to pull through this period,” he explained.
In order to create a sustainable food delivery ecosystem, DaBaoNow Singapore adopts a unique ‘0 sign-up fee, 0 onboarding fee and 0% commission fee’ business model. It works like the usual delivery platforms we are all used to, minus the slew of fees charged to the F&B establishments. DaBaoNow Singapore only makes revenue from delivery fees that are charged to customers.
Dishing Out Support for the Community
To the merchants, DaBaoNow Singapore brings in sales without additional charges, which helps them better control their margins. The delivery personnel are also connected to a wide range of F&B establishments, giving them more avenues to generate sustainable incomes. As for consumers, they will be glad to know that they have more food choices available and the delivery fees they pay will go a long way to help those truly in need.
“20% of DaBaoNow Singapore’s revenue will be donated to Euforia Singapore’s non-profit beneficiaries which are Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) and Animal Lovers League,” Melvin added.
Melvin’s experience working with different non-profits and social enterprises was also a strong driving force behind the creation of DaBaoNow Singapore.
He explained, “There are a lot of inefficiencies within the social sector. More often than not, one may put in a lot of effort trying to garner awareness for social good or different causes with little or no returns. Down Syndrome Association (Singapore), for example, is a primarily self-funded charity since 1996 and has a database of more than 1,000 corporate partners. But it may not be possible for these partners to consistently support or contribute towards its various fundraising efforts due to their changing CSR focus or financial means. This is the reality for many non-profit organisations in Singapore, especially the smaller ones which are unable to reach critical mass for funds needed to keep their operations going.”
The Better Way to Pay
Searching for a viable payment solution was another challenge Melvin faced. It had to be affordable, secure, and user-friendly for both business owners and customers.
“For our merchants, we are looking for something sustainable, especially for hawkers with not much margin to work with,” Melvin said.
“As for the customers, they are looking at mainly security and ease of use when it comes to e-payments.”
With these considerations in mind, Melvin continued his search until the NETS team approached him.
“All it took was one call from the NETS team for me to agree and sign up for NETS QR on DaBaoNow Singapore,” he added.
“The transaction fees are sustainable for our merchants, and customers are also already used to paying through NETS QR at F&B establishments even before Circuit Breaker. On top of that, NETS is also secure and familiar to everybody in Singapore. That is an advantage no other payment solution can offer.”
Goals for DaBaoNow Singapore
DaBaoNow Singapore operates like a food delivery platform but it is also a social platform focused on alleviating social and community issues. They have set out four main goals which are:
Increase profits for F&B establishments
Create consistent incomes for delivery personnel
Provide holistic and value-for-money product offerings for consumers
Raise awareness of the issues that many non-profits are facing
“DaBaoNow Singapore will continue to help the industry and community even after Circuit Breaker measures are relaxed. It is a long-term solution and we will be here for them for as long as they need us,” Melvin said.
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