Singapore to expand vending machine cafes
September 08 2016 05:21 PM
Singapore's first vending machine cafe opened last month.


Singapore on Thursday announced plans to open more vending machine cafes after the successful launch of the first one last month.

The vending machine cafes will be located in 10 sites over the next year, serving hot meals and freshly squeezed orange juice without employing any waitstaff.

The first such cafe opened to hour-long queues, with curious diners eager to try the affordable Halal-certified dishes. A bento box of grilled salmon and spaghetti costs S$5 (US$4), for example.

The vending machines are part of a broader plan announced by trade statutory board SPRING Singapore aimed at revamping the city-state's food industry and boosting the sector's annual productivity growth.

"The food services industry now has to think ahead of new ways of doing business, so that many years from now we still have a vibrant, diverse set of restaurants, coffee shops, hawker stalls ... But with much less manpower compared to today," Deputy Prime Minister Tharman
Shanmugaratnam said.

Other aspects of the food industry roadmap announced Thursday include digital ordering and cashless payment at traditional coffee shops.

The plan is one of 23 industry-specific roadmaps to be launched under a nationwide Industry Transformation Programme that is pushing for long-term economic development.

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