I remember the days when calling food delivery only meant pizza or fried chicken and there were endless jingles trying to get the repetitive delivery hotline numbers into our heads that till today I still remember the number for a particular hut. Back in those days, calling food delivery was somewhat expensive and only for special occasions or house parties. Over the years, more fast food chains and restaurants started offering food delivery as more platforms became available and the notion of food delivery gained traction amongst the younger consumers.
When Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Food panda and Grab Food joined the competition, the selection of food was limited to fast foods, restaurants or cafes within a certain radius from where you stay. Competition for food delivery was stiff and various coupons for free delivery was given out to attract customers to book via the different platforms.
When the pandemic happened early this year, the country went into complete lock down and dining out was mostly impossible. The demand for food delivery went into a historic high as people were choosing not to leave their homes to buy food and opting for the easier fuss free method of food delivery. With almost everyone ordering food delivery during meal times, the wait time and delivery fees also rocketed for some platforms.
The most badly hit businesses during the pandemic are the smaller hawker and coffee shop stalls who could not afford to join the delivery platforms due to the high entry fees. Some hawker stalls started to join some of the major delivery platforms but end up paying these platforms large profit sharing fees and to maintain profitability, some of them end up adjusting their prices upwards.
To help these local hawkers, a Facebook group Hawker’s United was started by Mr. Melvin Chew with the main purpose for Hawkers to post about their own delivery services and delivery menus. With the use of interbank transfer, this became a viable route for these hawkers to offer delivery to a wide audience without paying hefty fees to be part of a delivery platform. It was here in this Facebook group where I came across my current group buy service TABAOJIAK.
There is a really heart warming story to why Tabaojiak was founded by Mr. Tyler Joo, son of the owner of 138 cold drinks at Golden Mile Food Center. Not spared from the pandemic, business was also badly affected at GMFC and Tyler started a few WhatsApp chat with the notion of helping his father’s business and at the same time help some of the stall owners from the same food center. Juggling the group buy chat with a few of his friends and his full time job, the initial offerings were limited to stalls within Golden Mile Food Center and only a handful of chats.
From then on, Tabaojiak has prospered to many more chat groups covering a much wider area and they have also started bringing in delicious food from all across the island. What really differentiates them from the rest is their service and their sincerity towards one goal – bringing good food to foodies across Singapore and at the same time helping local businesses. Instead of a commercial group buy, what it really feels like is a close knit community of food lovers sharing ideas on where the best hawker food are and the admin of Tabaojiak is like our friendly neighbours who jio you to order together.
From the humble chicken rice, laksa, curry chicken to cakes and kuehs, there is no limit to what Tabaojiak brings to your table and the best part of this is that you get to enjoy some of Singapore best hawker fare typically with hour long queues from the comfort of your home as Tabaojiak handles all the logistics for an extremely reasonable fee. Delivery fees are fixed at SGD 4.50 which is fully paid to the drivers who brave through rain and shine to get your food to you and a small negligible fee is added to each menu to help with their administrative costs from vendor negotiation, coordination, food tasting and payment.
The schedule for the week is released via their Facebook page here or via their Instagram account here . Search for their handle @Taobaojiak and you should be able to find them. Order forms are then released via each chats for the different areas and you can make your orders. Join the chats via the links below for your areas:
I have always believed in sharing the good stuff and have already gotten so many of my friends on Tabaojiak, join them and open up another world of options to satisfy your quest for good food.