start FAST, start SMART

In Guides & Idea, Solution Provider, Vol 18

The Food & Beverage business can be muddy waters especially if this is a territory you have yet to cross. Setting up your own business for some of us may be a great venture that come with a heavy investment. It all boils down to picking an economically strategic location, experimenting to make your menus work, proper management of food cost, and lastly, constantly managing a team of people to stray away from any inconsistency.

It’s 2017 and we are here to give you the low down on ways you can work around all the above on your own – literally and figuratively. Unlike the traditional methods of setting up a juice and smoothie bar, you can now own a business that is an asset that grows in value over time and can be sold for a large profit down the road (if you choose to sell it). All this without the need for micromanaging and politicking amongst employees etc.

Vending and self-serve machines is right for you as this business helps generate passive income, so that already allows you lots of able-to-be-absent time, but they also don’t have office hours. Of course, you should work with the location, but within reason you can make your rounds of inspection whenever your heart pleases. Technologically advanced, these machines help this process even more by helping you achieve ultimate consistency during business times.

With increased legislation and higher demand from consumers for healthier products on the go, vending has shifted into a way of helping people make better decisions throughout their day. Smart vending business owners are making money by providing healthier alternatives to people who need them in places that lack them. We speak to Fruits Vending Pte Ltd and Welbilt respectively; these brands have broken the mold for you to take on and begin your F&B venture in a simpler and maybe even quicker way.

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IJOOZ OJ IS A-OK

Orange Juice or OJ as some may call it is a popular choice for many. As a drink that many prefer on a hot day or simply to feel that healthy punch in the morning, orange juice is the most popular drink in any menu and taken anytime in the day. In sunny Asia, Bruce Zhang and his partners from Fruits Vending Pte Ltd in Singapore saw an opportunity to make it their business to offer fresh orange juice from just about anywhere.

Their staff, the ‘IJOOZ vending machine’is a smart application of technology and hardware. A vending machine that squeezes the oranges directly in front of the customers is not just for show but instills an impactful image of freshness of what you are being served – juice straight from the fruit.

In a single refill, the machine stores about 360-400 oranges at 1 time in a temperature of between 3-6 degrees. The preset amount is three oranges per cup with an average yield of 280-300ml per serving and you get a cup of juice – chilled, fresh and sealed in a cup in a time of less than a minute! The refrigerated cabinet keeps the oranges fresh and the overall design factors in the of process refilling, maintenance and the quick disposal of orange skins to reduce its downtime. Weatherproof in design to operate along corridors or walkways or inside cafeterias or food courts, it only requires a single-phase power point and intelligently incorporated sim card in them that allows “live”monitoring on their online monitoring portal.

Now already on their third version, these units are constantly perfected – not just in its technology but also in how it communicates with the customers. Payment system either by cash notes or even with a simple QR code from a mobile phone pay system are built in to encourage ease of purchase and priced at only SGD 2 per cup, it is a bargain for a fresh cup of OJ. A 22” screen is installed with audio and video functions for marketing purpose in this new version as well.

Bruce has this to share “Fruits are temperature sensitive, so we invest our time to perfect the unit’s performance. Since star ting in 2013, this is now our third version and it incorporates temperature display both analog and digital to assure our customers of the storage temperature. We have also made changes to the structure to allow more areas to be open and displayed for the customers to ensure that what they purchase is straight from the fruit without any additives or open to contamination.”

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With more than 50 units operating in Singapore and more on the way, Bruce and his team work hard to ensure the constant supply of the right oranges. “Our oranges are from Australia, shipped fresh to us. In our facility, each orange is individually inspected and cleaned on a conveyor belt where the oranges are washed with jets of water, passing over roller brushes”. This is to remove debris, dirt and wax coating on the skin. After that, the oranges go through a water bath and then dried. They are then stored in specially designed stainless steel bins where the refill team can easily roll them to a working unit – replenish the oranges and remove the skins quickly and hygienically.

But with a naturally grown product as the fruit itself, there is no way that you would get the same size for each and every one. As the fruits are sorted individually, under or oversized ones are separated and kept in their refrigerated cold room before they are donated to organisations such as Willing Hear ts or Residents’ committee – this is par t of their contributions toward needy programmes in the community. The company have star ted giving out the collected orange peels to facilities producing Eco Enzymes, a natural detergent that is then offered to hawker centers for general cleaning purpose, helping the environment by reducing the dependence on harmful chemicals.

start3Making sure that his team cover all aspects to ensure that the units are operating at optimum, his team works on a unique schedule. Unlike how some people refill in the morning or at the beginning of the day, Bruce and his team works hard in the evening instead. “To make sure the unit is working during heavy traffic hours, we normally refill and clean the units at the end of the day. This is to ensure that the next day, the unit has a full stock of oranges and would be able to operate the whole day before its refill again in the evening” Bruce explains. It is also during the replenishing period that the unit is cleaned thoroughly and its waste disposed of. And ever y unit has a monitoring system where if the unit is experiencing high sales volume, the team is prompt by the unit via internet that replenishment might be necessary earlier than its schedule.

The online monitoring portal is also activated if the machine is suffering from a technical issue. A team would be dispatched and with its smart design, the team can do a 1 to 1 spare par ts swap on site so that the unit will continue to run. The par ts in the IJOOZ vending units are sectionalised so that a quick swap can be done at site with minimum fuss and reduce downtime. On top of that, the team has a 24-hour hotline activated in Singapore as back up as well.

Looking to bring the opportunity to more investors, the company are approaching new markets around the region with the IJOOZ version 3 unit as it is designed to work in all tropical weather. With only a footprint of 140cm in width and 90cm in depth & at a height of 190cm, the units can be easily moved and installed in various locations. So, if your cup of juice is a fresh glass of orange juice, get in touch with Fruits Vending Pte Ltd to kick start your F & B business!

FRUITS Vending Pte Ltd
www.fruitsvending.com

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CUSTOMISATION MADE FOR YOU

Looking for an easy star t up with a good margin for your pocket? Look no fur ther than icy blended beverages, which over the past decade have emerged as a sizzling hot trend that’s transcended specialty status to become a mainstream smash hit. Back in 2009, Welbilt (formerly Manitowoc Foodservice) launched its new Multiplex® Blend-in-Cup® System, a 2010 NRA Kitchen Innovation Award Winner and ‘the’ game-changer in the blended beverage equipment category.

Welbilt grabbed the opportunity to develop the technology application for making frozen and blended beverages that would address the same top concerns operators have across other beverage dispensing categories. Among them were minimising footprint, maximising food safety, speed and ease of operation, on-board ice making, crewserve or self-serve capability, and plenty of possibilities for menu-item customisation.

start5With those core objectives in mind, the engineers went on to design a self-contained, 26-inch-wide system that delivers all of that and more, including the ability to make dairy and non-dairy smoothies and frappes, frozen lemonades, blended bar drinks and premium non-blended beverages in one machine. There would be no need for measuring, pouring from blender pitchers, wasted product or washing pitchers and small wares. On top of that, ingredients are automatically dispensed into the serving cup, where they’re quietly blended to order – all in less than 40 seconds.

Now, in 2016, the all in one convenient footprint: the latest Multiplex Blend-In-Cup Workstation makes it even easier to add blended beverages to your operation. With an impressive set of features that benefit you, the business owner as well as your customers can be rest assured that products will achieve consistency. This next generation blended ice machine is specially designed to improve your restaurant’s operations helping you gain more profit with a ten per cent yield improvement. What’s great is that the fact that it emits fifty per cent less noise, your store’s environment is turned up a notch. So its not just a higher drink quality from exact auto cup fill but your business’ level of sustenance improves too as it uses sixty per cent less water to rinse and drops your food waste level to about seventy percent.

Multiplex Blend-in-Cup is designed and focused toward the automation, efficiency and reliability of delivering a variety of blended beverages; and enables high productivity while ready for future menu expansion. Let’s take a look at its beneficial features for a new or existing entrepreneur: the built-in nugget ice machine subsystem allows for production of the perfect ice for all varieties of specialty beverages. The onboard nugget ice machine delivers and supports high drink volume demand during peak and non-peak hours. The workstation also comes with an intuitive and simple to use icon based touch screen control, the exclusive EasyTouch® Control system, that allows for easy beverage preparation and inventor y management. The control panel offers visual training, cleaning, maintenance and data collection information.

start6As mentioned earlier in the article, productivity is built right in with a beverage requiring less than 40 seconds to prepare. The multi-product dispenser plus two mixing stations bring quick preparation and dual mixing modules that will improve throughput even more. Finally, you can find convenience and food safety is built right in with its built-in refrigeration for storage and dispense system; with a storage cabinet within the workstation holds up to eight beverage flavours. The dispense pump system will handle small particulates and all product is stored at food safe temperatures.

Welbilt doesn’t just stop with an equipment, the brand then launched experience and culinary expertise to ensure that they deliver their promise of “Plug ‘n Play smoothie programs” in every region. With a full team of award winning chefs that are experts in the development of engaging recipes specifically for the Multiplex BlendIn-Cup machines, they also partner with major food suppliers and educational facilities to ensure they are constantly up on trending recipes and innovations.

Once your business is moving along fine, then comes new menu programs that require extra care and service as franchises become familiar with the equipment and the products it produces. With Multiplex and Welbilt , F&B entrepreneurs get the benefit of over five years in this category, 8500 installations and over 7 million drinks per week worldwide. In fact, over 400 US service branches.

New menu programs require extra care and service as franchisees become familiar with the equipment and the products it produces. With Multiplex and Welbilt you get the benefit of over 5 years in this category, 8500 installations and over 7 million drinks per week worldwide. This simple and clever system is sure to stay in the food and beverage industry in years to come.

For more information, contact
www.welbilt.com

Eileen Chanstart FAST, start SMART