Customer Success: Tim Ho Wan
Started in 2009, Tim Ho Wan is known as the most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant in the world. In 2013, the award-winning Dim Sum restaurant opened its first overseas venture in Singapore at Plaza Singapura. Replicating the same taste of its Hong Kong counterpart, it was an unbridled success. Its opening saw long lines at all hours and intense media attention. With its combination of quality and affordability, Tim Ho Wan won over the taste buds of discerning and value-conscious Singaporeans to be the top Dim Sum restaurant in Singapore.
Tim Ho Wan built its brand on its handmade dim sum and customer-first culture — delivered by a pool of friendly and experienced employees. Due to the work nature of the F&B industry, Tim Ho Wan faces a reduction of its workforce; employees were exhausted due to the long working hours, which also contributed to the increase in workplace injuries.
The manpower shortage was made worse because of the COVID-19 pandemic, where border restrictions were tightened to prevent the spread of virus across countries, resulting in the shortage of foreign workers.
How we helped
We shared with Tim Ho Wan how they can deploy waiter robots as part of its digitalization journey to deal with manpower shortages. Robot waiters were deployed at its restaurants — MBS and Westgate. From the transformation of the ordering process to deploying robot waiters, Tim Ho Wan saves up to five man-hours daily. Productivity increased after the redesign of the restaurant workflow, and in the long run, it helps the restaurant maintain the current pool of employees, a crucial aspect to keep ahead of the competition.
"William created a group chat so that his team can address any technical problems with the waiter robots at the soonest. The support given is professional and responsive, resolving all questions we face. With the team around, we are very confident of rolling out this robotic technology to our other restaurants," said Christopher.
Servers were happy with the addition their new colleagues - the robot waiters - as they felt that the robot waiters have helped to reduce the amount of distance they walk in a day. "We struggled a little due to the shortage of manpower, but after getting robot waiters on board, we managed to retain more servers like Fiona, who is already 70 years old," said Christopher Ho, Senior Manager of Tim Ho Wan.
The average size of a Tim Ho Wan restaurant is around one-third of the size of a football field; given its size, servers walk up to 60 km a day, sending dishes from the kitchen to customers' tables. With robot waiters' assistance, Fiona gets more rest and gets to focus on fulfilling other requests by customers.
"It's my first time encountering a robot waiter in a restaurant, and I find it adorable. The robot waiter avoids my leg just like a real human waiter. I had a great experience with both human and robot waiters serving me, said Sugar, a customer of Tim Ho Wan.
"We struggled a little due to the shortage of manpower, but with robot waiters on board, we managed to retain more servers like Fiona, who is already 70 years old!"
— Christopher Ho, Senior Manager of Tim Ho Wan
"It's my first time encountering a robot waiter in a restaurant, and I find it adorable. I had a great experience with both human and robot waiters serving me."
— Sugar, Customer of Tim Ho Wan