From CBD To Islandwide, How S’pore Hawker Delivery Firm WhyQ Kept Their Fees Low At $1.50


When we first featured WhyQ back in 2017, it was positively received by our readers.

The 29-year-old founders had a very interesting startup story to begin with: Rishabh Singhvi and Varun Saraf moved from India to Singapore in 2008 and fell in love with the local food here.

whyq singapore
WhyQ founders / Image Credit: WhyQ

After graduating from Singapore Management University (SMU), they worked in the banking industry for a good 4 years.

Working in the CBD has made them realise that lunch time can be frustrating — they were always faced with long queues, and there were no feasible delivery options on a daily basis.

That was exactly how WhyQ came about: they wanted fellow Singaporeans to skip the queues and let them do the hard work instead.

Lowest Delivery Fee In S’pore

whyq singapore
Image Credit: WhyQ

Food delivery has become commonplace in Singapore but WhyQ has pretty much changed the game with its hawker delivery service.

Instead of the usual $3 delivery fee (sometimes higher if it’s peak period), WhyQ charges half of that at a flat $1.50 per order. You can even place orders from different stalls in the same hawker centre as part of one order.

WhyQ is very proud of that fact, claiming that it is the “only company in Singapore that has the lowest and cheapest delivery charge.”

It also does not require any minimum order, except for certain delivery zones where it charges a $2 fee for orders less than $8.

Conversely, WhyQ considers more than 10 orders as a bulk order. For such bulk orders, delivery fees will whittle down to only $1/order (for 10 orders), and goes down to as low as $0.60/order (for 50 orders).

From CBD To Whole Of S’pore

When WhyQ first launched in Singapore, it only delivered during lunch hours and within Central Business District (CBD).

In late last year, it expanded its delivery service islandwide to include residential zones in Singapore, as well as delivery during dinner hours and on weekends.

Residential deliveries for weekday diners and on weekends for lunch and dinner have been hugely successful for us, [but they] are more expensive as they require motorbikes due to larger distances as compared to office zones.

– Rishabh Singhvi, co-founder of WhyQ

In contrast, when distances are short (ie. office deliveries), WhyQ couriers either deliver on foot with the help of trolleys, or on bicycles.

whyq singapore
WhyQ courier performing office deliveries / Image Credit: WhyQ

While the WhyQ courier delivers right to your doorstep for home deliveries, he/she will bring the food to a pre-selected delivery location (usually the lobby) for office deliveries.

Unlike other food delivery companies in Singapore that operate on an on-demand basis, WhyQ adopts a hub-and-spoke model for deliveries.

“[Our model enables] customers to pre-order or schedule their meals for delivery, which significantly reduces our cost for delivery. This makes our unit economics much better than other players.”

– Rishabh Singhvi, co-founder of WhyQ

As hawker food is inexpensive, WhyQ intends to keep it that way even while delivering it.

Their economies of scale model ensures that they can optimise their delivery process, hire fewer resources and deliver to multiple customers at one go. This in turn helps to remove minimum orders and keep delivery costs low.

To date, the duo have raised over S$1.7 million to date and are “operationally breaking even in several delivery zones.”

What’s New: Corporate Catering, Subscription Plans

To bring in more revenue, WhyQ has recently introduced two new services.

whyq corporate catering singapore
Image Credit: WhyQ

In February, it launched a corporate catering portal, which offers curated menus from local hawker food to affordable restaurants for company events and team lunches.

With this service, you get to enjoy cheap hawker food pricing, coupled with corporate discounts and low delivery fee.

Rishabh shared that this new service has received great traction and that they have “signed a few long-term clients”, delivering up to 200 meals a day.

Image Credit: WhyQ

Most recently, WhyQ launched a subscription plan yesterday (1 July 2019), where users can get their meals delivered for as low as $2.58 per meal in the first month.

Otherwise, a basic meal costs at $3.50/meal while premium ones cost $7.50/meal.

At the moment, this subscription plan is available only in the CBD.

Despite diversifying their business, Rishabh makes it a point to not stray too far from their niche.

Honestbee, which recently closed its food delivery services in Singapore, amidst a slew of other closures and terminations, was cited as an example.

Honestbee spread themselves quite thin by trying to do too many things. We learn from them how important it is to continue to focus on our niche and brand, working only with [hawkers] and delivering [their] food affordably.

– Rishabh Singhvi, co-founder of WhyQ

Plans To Add More Hawker Centres And Stalls

Earlier in January, Hong Kong food delivery firm Plum exited the Singapore market.

Following its departure, WhyQ absorbed Plum’s customer base, but Rishabh said it isn’t as significant as they had expected.

He reasoned that it’s highly likely that it’s because Plum offers a mix of hawkers and restaurants while WhyQ only offers hawkers, hence the misalignment.

To date, WhyQ has 90,000 users and majority of this figure are app users.

whyq singapore
Image Credit: WhyQ

Rishabh said that WhyQ is currently looking at expanding aggressively to bring more hawker options for their customers.

It has over 2,000 hawker partners across 35 or more hawker centres and a fleet of 100 couriers now, and plans to add more centres and stalls in their network.

As we expand, we plan to continue using our economies of scale model and will be further optimising it with better technology and higher volumes.

– Rishabh Singhvi, co-founder of WhyQ

Sharing its future plans, Rishabh said WhyQ intends to reduce the cost of raw materials for hawkers by aggregating and delivering orders.

It also intends to “digitise” more hawkers to help them propel food delivery sales.

For instance, WhyQ can furnish hawkers with a handheld receipt printer that can be connected to their mobile app for a seamless transaction.

Ultimately, WhyQ aims to give hawkers a platform to deliver their food and to enable all Singaporeans to enjoy their favourite hawker food at an affordable price.

Keen to try out WhyQ? You can download their mobile app for free on Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Featured Image Credit: WhyQ / @eatwhattonight

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)