All-day brunch and social dining Cafe Coco suffered when walk-in customers dwindled significantly.
It’s a tourist-dependent cafe that’s nestled in the lush greenery of Gardens By the Bay, but it suddenly saw sales sink 90 per cent per month with only locals streaming in during the weekends.
Its artisanal handcrafted waffles, bottled brews and brown butter choux puffs remained on the shelves as there were not many walk-ins, which really worried 31-year-old cafe co-founders Melody Tan and Woody Hein.
The declining sales at their outlet led them to pivot to selling Cafe Coco’s food products via creating an e-commerce platform, and they subsequently searched for a reliable partner that could deliver their delicate bites.
They chanced upon GrabExpress’ Towkay Club via the Grab app, and the duo have not turned to other delivery providers since.
According to Melody, a trustworthy delivery platform is “vital to the business”, and GrabExpress’ Towkay Club does just that.
“That’s why GrabExpress is our sole delivery solution to date. With Grab, our customers get firsthand information on tracking their parcels, and we are assured that our products get delivered to them safely and promptly, along with a proof of delivery.”
Businesses need reliable delivery partners
GrabExpress is a same-day logistics solutions service that aims to help businesses save money by removing the logistics stress faced by owners.
Melody is part of the GrabExpress’ Towkay Club. The club aims to help and support small businesses that require delivery services, as it acknowledges the difficulties small and home businesses face daily – figuring out how to attract consumers, converting them to orders, and ensuring that items are delivered on time, all while worrying about their bottomline.
As more businesses pivot online and require delivery services, it’s crucial to find a reliable partner that can cope with this increased demand.
“Parcel deliveries are usually the most expensive part of the process for F&B businesses, but with Towkay Club’s discount codes and freebies, we are able to defray some of our delivery costs,” said Melody.
By hitting the delivery milestones in the Towkay Club programme, members get rewarded with even more discounts.
“This makes it a really fun and positive experience when requesting for deliveries,” she added.
Besides delivery savings, it also helps businesses to save time. According to Melody, GrabExpress helps them cut down time by at least 70 per cent in finding delivery drivers.
Save time and money with GrabExpress
Another small business owner, Xavier Chew, 41, started an e-commerce business C-Mart that specialises in fast delivery for alcohol, snacks and desserts during last year’s Circuit Breaker.
He wanted to jump on the growing e-commerce trend of online orders. “We opened up a store at High Street to provide a combination of alcohol, beverages and food to satisfy what we saw was an immediate demand from customers.”
The business was a result of a pivot from his car rental business that was gravely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Xavier joined Grab’s Towkay Club and now uses GrabExpress for the bulk of his e-commerce mart’s deliveries, which he loves because of its fast speed in getting delivery drivers.
“The tech algorithm on GrabExpress allocates our orders to nearby drivers, (while) other delivery platforms allocate drivers and riders who might be too far to meet our delivery timings,” he said.
Towkay Club members also get three S$5 discount codes on GrabExpress, on top of additional discounts off their next GrabExpress ride for every Towkay Challenge milestone that they hit.
These translate to savings of about S$500 per month in deliveries, which Xavier says are much needed savings to support his business’ operations.
Cafe Coco owners Melody and Woody both recommend GrabExpress’ Towkay Club to other SMEs: “Our consumers’ purchase experiences are made complete with Grab coming in to assist us with hassle-free deliveries, making it a wholesome experience for both the sellers and buyers.”
C-Mart’s Xavier highly approves of Grab Towkay Club for the many perks and benefits that are exclusive to business owners. Beyond helping him save time and money, it also allowed him to connect and learn from fellow Towkays.
He also finds GrabExpress very reliable, and is happy that it’s not limited to business uses. In fact, he recently used GrabExpress to deliver meals to needy kids for a charity project.
Why you should join The Towkay Club
GrabExpress’ Towkay CIub was created to provide smaII and home-based businesses a pIatform to help reduce their delivery costs and to allow these sellers to interact with like-minded counterparts.
Users can choose from two types of delivery options and from a range of vehicles to suit their delivery needs, as well as access to same-day, contactless deliveries and cashless payment options.
Towkay Club members who tap on GrabExpress for their delivery needs don’t just get the basic delivery service, but are also rewarded with discounts off their next GrabExpress ride for every rewards milestone that they achieve.
Businesses can also unlock more than S$50 in vouchers and rewards upon reaching certain milestones for Towkay Challenges. Examples of challenges include hitting a number of deliveries within a month.
Top five towkays also get to be featured on Grab’s social pages every month to help boost awareness for their business.
According to Grab, the response on Towkay Club has been very good since its launch in April this year, and there has been overwhelming sign-ups since.
“Our membership base covers a wide range of home businesses or sellers who have a presence on social media from all industries,” said Grab.
Fellow towkays can connect with each other via a Telegram chat group to gain and share insights.
Cafe Coco’s Melody and Woody said that the Telegram chat group serves as a support group for businesses to tide over the pandemic. The business group talks about daily worries like concerns businesses have about the pandemic and how to get used to the new normal.
“Everyone in the group chat is open and responsive to queries. It’s like a family that makes us feel like we’re not alone in this battle against the pandemic.”
Silver Seller tier for more Towkay “milestones”
On 1 August 2021, the Towkay Club introduced the Silver Seller membership tier.
Towkays can enhance their delivery savings as a Silver Seller with more perks and discounts on GrabExpress. This includes 10 per cent off instant deliveries and a maximum fare of only S$8 per trip when you choose the four-hour delivery service.
When asked why this new tier is being set up, Grab explained that they have a base of loyal and recurring members, so they “wanted to reward them with more perks to thank them for their commitment to the Towkay Club.”
To qualify for this tier, you would need to complete a minimum of 20 GrabExpress deliveries in a month. Once you hit that criteria, you will automatically become a silver seller the following month.
Interested in joining this exclusive Towkay Club to grow your business? You can register your interest here. (Note: you need to prove that you own a business by sharing your business website, or business account on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Carousell when registering).
Readers who sign up for Towkay Club will receive an additional S$5 discount voucher for GrabExpress by using the promo code <VULCAN> during registration.
This voucher will then be credited into their Towkay Club account once application has been approved. The promo is only valid for sign-ups made by August 23, so don’t miss out!
This article was written in collaboration with GrabExpress.
Featured Image Credit: Grab / Cafe Coco / C-Mart