Google in Singapore has launched a new menu discovery feature on its Google Pay app to make it easier for consumers to interact with local eateries and order food for delivery.
Using the app, Singaporeans can browse menus, choose what they want and contact the retailer director to order and pay. Depending on the vendor, customers can choose to pick up or have food delivered. A link in the app allows sharing with friends.
More than 100 small food businesses such as coffee shops, hawker stalls and restaurants have joined 150 large chains already on the platform, including Burger King, Canadian Pizza, Cedele, Da Paolo Group, The Daily Cut and Tuk Tuk Cha.
“Quick food pick-ups and door-to-door deliveries are now a necessity, as Singaporeans stay home during this critical period,” explained Patrick Teo, director of engineering for payments and engineering site lead at Google in Singapore.
“Like others in Singapore, we were sharing food menus among family and friends. So we thought, what if we could scale this and make this easier for consumers and restaurants? We rallied our employees to come together quickly and discussed ways in which we could offer a solution.”
Early partners in the menu discovery feature include Kok Sen, O Banh Mi, Outram Park Ya Hua Rou Gu Cha, Blue Ginger, O.Bba BBQ Jjajang and Nude Seafood.
“We hope to make the process of discovering local eateries simple and easy, and support even the smallest businesses – like hawkers – and minimise disruptions to their business,” said Teo.
“We have rushed to get this out and will continue to improve the experience and hope that the easy access to a variety of food options will help Singaporeans enjoy their meals safely at home and support small businesses during these tough times.”
Samuel Phan Chee Chiat, the owner of Vietnamese eatery O Banh Mi, located at Tiong Bahru Plaza, says having an online presence during the lockdown period is critical as he turns to online delivery and takeaways to keep the business going.
“O Banh Mi hopes to leverage this platform to reach out to both new and existing patrons, offer a more seamless mobile experience and ultimately contribute to our bottom line. It is with help from government agencies, landlords and major players like Google that we are able to continue serving our signature Vietnamese dishes during this trying time, and to in turn protect the jobs of our valuable staff.”
“Our world’s been turned upside down” added Hong Junchen, a partner in Nude Seafood, which has two restaurants in the city. “But it’s also an opportunity to transform.
“We made early plans before the circuit breaker to introduce our delivery service, and that has helped to widen our customer pool beyond the office crowd and into the neighbourhoods. We’re no longer limited by our physical location and can serve good seafood islandwide. With this new feature on Google Pay, we hope to tap on the app’s existing user base to create relevant exposure and visibility for our business, as well as to continue establishing a personal relationship with our customers during this trying period.”