In recent years, the gig economy has seen remarkable transformations, affecting not only the global workforce but also the landscape of businesses in Singapore. The Food and Beverage (F&B) industry, in particular, has witnessed significant changes as it adapts to the evolving demands of the market. In this article, we will delve into the dynamics of hiring casual part-time workers for F&B businesses in Singapore, explore the impact of the gig economy, and discuss how COVID-19 has accelerated the need for flexible workforce solutions.
The gig economy, characterised by temporary, flexible work arrangements, has experienced a rapid evolution in Singapore. Since its inception, it has diversified considerably, moving well beyond its initial focus on delivery and transportation to encompass a wide range of industries and job categories. This transformation has been powered by multiple factors, including technological advancements, evolving labour market dynamics, and shifts in worker preferences. The main motivators that drive individuals toward these work arrangements are the allure of flexibility and freedom, as highlighted in the Ministry of Manpower's 2020 Labour Force in Singapore 2020 report.
In Singapore, the gig economy has gained prominence in the F&B industry due to the fluctuating nature of this sector's demand and the need for businesses to remain agile in their operations. The ability to hire casual part-time workers when needed provides these businesses with the flexibility to scale up or down to better manage market demand and supply, thereby reducing operational costs when necessary.
The COVID-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for change in the F&B industry. With lockdowns, restrictions, and unpredictable consumer behaviour, F&B businesses faced the challenge of managing their workforce effectively. Flexible work arrangements such as offering flexible hours to accommodate employees' needs during the pandemic were very much needed, especially during this global crisis. As such, casual part-time workers became an integral part of their workforce strategy, helping them navigate the uncertain times with ease. This made companies more agile and adaptable to the ever-changing external circumstances.
According to Singapore Department of Statistics (Singstat), approximately 15,400 workers exited the F&B services sector in 2020. Given the industry's struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector experienced a modest net gain of just 600 employees in 2021.
Singapore has been proactive in addressing labour-related concerns in the F&B sector. The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) is one such initiative that aims to uplift the wages and skills of low-wage workers in various industries, including the F&B sector (from 1 March 2023). This model sets out structured wage increments and requirements for training, incentivising F&B businesses to invest in their employees. As per the progressive wage model, part-time food services workers are required to receive a minimum hourly gross wage of S$9.18. The PWM is expected to benefit approximately 41,000 resident food service workers, including both full-time and part-time employees. Hiring casual part-time workers under this model ensures that they receive fair compensation and opportunities for growth, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.
Hiring casual part-time workers in the F&B industry offers an array of benefits for businesses, some of which includes:
Casual part-time workers play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of F&B establishments, often covering positions that are essential in the day to day operations. They represent the front-line of your establishment and are responsible for providing an exceptional customer experience. With the increase need of manpower, especially during festive seasons, here are some of the key roles they can fulfil:
To address the unique staffing needs of F&B businesses in Singapore, our fully managed model provides a comprehensive solution. With over 300,000 active job seekers across our database, we offer a wide pool of experienced and skilled flexible gig workers who are ready to fill various roles in your establishment. With our service, you can focus on delivering exceptional culinary experiences to your customers with a fully managed solution that includes sourcing, rostering, onboarding, deployment, and payroll. Using FastGig, you can reduce the likelihood of no-shows. We have extra gig workers on standby to swiftly fill in the spots for any last-minute cancellations or unexpected no-shows.
All in all, the gig economy has had a transformative effect on the F&B industry in Singapore. It has allowed businesses to adapt to market demands, particularly in times of uncertainty like the COVID-19 pandemic that struck businesses on both a local and global level. With high turnover rates, the F&B industry is increasingly looking to hire part timers in Singapore to meet their workforce needs. The benefits of hiring casual workers makes FastGig a compelling solution for businesses in the sector. To simplify the process of hiring and managing temporary staff, our fully managed model offers a seamless solution. Embracing the gig economy and casual part-time workers can position F&B businesses for success in this evolving landscape.
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