Honestbee – modern retail concept opts for COOK

26 Sep 2019

Food retailers are increasingly using hybrid gastronomy outlets in a bid to compete with online suppliers. honestbee in Singapore is the perfect example of how this extends far beyond a live cooking concept.

honestbee is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce food platforms in Asia. The company also owns stationary supermarkets, including our new customer, habitat by honestbee in Singapore. This hotspot is an excellent example of the multifunctional gastronomy outlets that are gaining a foothold in flagship stores all over Asia and Europe. The basic idea behind these hybrid supermarkets is the fusion of food retail, gastronomy, events and entertainment to create a gastro-retail experience at one location.

A fresh, convenient and fun shopping experience
“Habitat by honestbee” could be described as a large, modern market hall where no cash is exchanged. Customers only gain access to this cashless store after registering on the company’s app and giving their credit card details. They identify themselves using their individual bar code, which is accessed on a mobile phone and scanned at the entrance.

Market stalls sell fresh goods and packaged food either to take away or to prepare directly on the spot. There are two cooking stations – a pasta station equipped with a COOK classic 2.1 and a COOK classic 3.1 for Asian char dishes. The prepared menus are presented in the display and cooked in front of the customer. With COOK, honestbee is also perfectly equipped for a wide range of events, such as the culinary theme evenings with chefs that habitat by honestbee organises on a regular basis.

The flexible COOK equipment not only makes light work of the peak lunch, evening and weekend services. The COOK concept also takes into account the special conditions of the Asian real estate market by integrating cooking technology and an extractor hood in a single station, thus eliminating dependence on on-site system installations. With more than fifteen years of experience in the region, Maika Armann knows what she is talking about. “As in all Asian cities, extreme densification means that no new buildings are constructed in the centre of Singapore, but existing spaces, for example in office blocks, are converted and re-used instead.” Rising rents mean that relocation every two years is the order of the day for many establishments. It is thus a great advantage if furniture and equipment meet technical requirements and complicated installation work is not necessary. “Thanks to their plug-and-play feature, our cooking stations can simply be packed up, moved and set up ready to go in the new location. COOK cooking stations are usually supplied on castors and special transport boxes make moving the station very easy.”

But tendencies can also shift within a market. “You can never predict whether a planned food concept will be successful or not,” adds Maika Armann. For instance, if a pasta station fails to generate sufficient business, COOK allows the preparation of other concepts such as burgers or Asian dishes simply by replacing the table-top cooking units with minimum effort. This flexibility, which also pays off when it comes to concept changes in keeping with food trends or seasonal specialities, is a key added value offered by the station.