SINGAPORE – As part of its ambition to be a super-app in South-east Asia, mobile payment and deals platform Fave has acquired two food-ordering startups in Singapore and Malaysia.

The firm, which was formerly Groupon, added CutQ, a Singaporean food takeaway app and FoodTime, a Malaysian mobile food ordering and delivery app, to its stable for an undisclosed fee.

The newly-added services will help the firm, which has a presence in 35 cities across Malaysia, Indonesia as well as Singapore, strengthen its position as a market leader in South-east Asia, a company press statement said on Friday (May 24).

“We saw an opportunity to leverage on the knowledge and technology that CutQ in Singapore and FoodTime in Malaysia have developed and are delighted to officially introduce their services as our next value-added service for our merchants and users,” said Fave’s founder Joel Neoh.

These table ordering and take-away solutions will help restaurants cut labour costs and increase productivity, Mr Neoh said.

“One of the biggest problems facing Singapore’s and Malaysia’s F&B (food and beverage) and retail industry is an acute labour shortage,” said Mr Ng Aik Phong, managing director of Fave Singapore in the same press statement.

The lack of skilled labour, coupled with new government restrictions on foreign workers, poses one of the biggest growth challenges for such businesses in both countries, Mr Ng added.

Singapore-based CutQ was founded in 2013, which helps users skip queues and have their orders ready for pickup.

Restaurants and eateries that have signed up on Fave’s table ordering solution include Gelare, Paulaner Brauhaus, Saboten and Tingkat Peranakan in Singapore.

Jia Xiang Sarawak Kuching Kolo Mee, a restaurant with five outlets in Singapore, said it has benefited from the table ordering service offered by Fave since April 23.

“It helps us in cutting down the queues and shortening food waiting time which improves the customer experience,” said Mr Max Ng, general manager at the chain.

“Furthermore, it has increased our sales by turning tables over quickly through the efficient ordering system and has tremendously increased our customers’ spending,” he added.

This new table ordering service is linked to FavePay, the app’s mobile payment service that gives loyalty cashback to consumers across multiple categories including food and beverage, beauty and wellness, travel and leisure.

The mobile payment service has been used to perform more than 6 million transactions in the first five months of this year (2019). To date, the app has been downloaded more than 4 million times and it has given more than US$6 million ($8.26 million) in cashback to Singaporeans and Malaysians.