With high operational costs and staff shortages, the F&B industry has been one of the hardest hit by Covid-19 and all its related restrictions. While many have pivoted to takeaway models, not all restaurants have had the know- how or resources to fully utilise existing capabilities.

Enter TiffinLabs, a food tech company established at the height of the pandemic in 2020. It operates digital delivery-optimised food brands – including Korean-Mexican concept La Takorea and The Biryani Bar – that offer dishes prepared in their dark kitchens (efficient production units without a storefront) or in those of their partner restaurants.

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In time for the new round of dining restrictions in Singapore, TiffinLabs has launched a $1 million relief fund “in the spirit of solidarity”, shares co-founder Phuminant Tantiprasongchai. The money helps new partner restaurants come on board with zero upfront costs while providing additional subsidies for inventory, equipment and training. This is to supplement the partner’s existing resources.

Tiffin Labs
The La Takorea digital restaurant.

With this, partner restaurants and bars can make up for lost revenue by utilising spare capacity in their kitchen to prepare food from TiffinLabs’ stable of concepts. Becoming a partner is simple since one needs only basic equipment like microwaves, ovens and deep fryers to cook TiffinLabs’ recipes. There is also an hour-long training session supplemented with recipe books and videos.

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“Our partners have full autonomy to turn off TiffinLabs’ delivery devices when at full capacity. We understand that serving and delivering to their customers are their priority. We provide long-term solutions, so our target market is F&B outlets that can sustain the load and benefit from the incremental revenue when dining in resumes,” adds Tantiprasonchai.

Tiffin Labs
The TiffinLabs team.

Existing partner restaurants are already enjoying results; places like Boomarang Bistro & Bar are seeing increases of over $13,000 in sales per month at each of their two locations. Its managing director Martin McGettigan shares: “There aren’t any upfront costs and we are using existing equipment, labour and utilities. The incremental profits from TiffinLabs have helped us keep staff and pay the rent. Results have been spectacular and I’m glad we did this.” The future, it seems, is collaborative.

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