SINGAPORE - Food and beverage (F&B) portal HungryGoWhere will cease operations on July 11, the Singtel-owned subsidiary said on Tuesday (June 8).
The 15-year-old website is exiting the restaurant reservations market in the light of tougher competition in the F&B industry.
“In line with the (Singtel) Group’s business refocus, we have conducted a detailed review of HungryGoWhere and explored various options for the business. However, it has faced severe challenges posed by competitive pressure in the industry which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said a Singtel spokesman, in response to queries from The Straits Times.
“We have redeployed most of HungryGoWhere’s 13-member team to other roles within Singtel Group, and are offering re-employment assistance to the rest,” the spokesman added.
“We thank the F&B community and diners for their support over the past 15 years.”
The portal announced its closure on its website and social media platforms.
It added: "We hope that we've helped make dining out a better experience for you, and that you will continue to support the awesome restaurants, eateries, and hawkers in Singapore. Thank you for being with us all these years and we are really proud to have served you."
Reservations made via HungryGoWhere before July 12 are confirmed, said the company in an FAQ published on its website. It will also continue accepting reservations until July 11.
Currently, dining in eateries is prohibited under Singapore's tightened Covid-19 restrictions, but the website continues to list takeaway deals.
Those whose reservation date falls on July 12 or later will have to contact the restaurant to reconfirm their booking.
The company's HungryRewards programme - which allows users to earn cash credits when they make a reservation via the portal - will be discontinued from June 30.
Users can transfer any amount of outstanding credits, or Hungry$, into Singtel Dash credits. All credits not transferred by June 30 will be void.
All content on the portal will be taken offline at the end of the day on July 11. Users have been advised to save any content they would like to retain, such as food reviews. Similarly, merchants are advised to download reservation information by then.
"To thank all our merchant partners for their support, we will not be charging any fees for June and July 2021," the statement added.
Founded by food-loving entrepreneurs Tan Yung Yih, Wong Hoong An and Dennis Goh in 2006, the website started off with food reviews.
It was acquired for $12 million by Singtel in 2012, following which its operations were merged with inSing.com, a lifestyle site that was also a Singtel subsidiary and is no longer in operation.
It then grew to become a one-stop search engine that allowed users to find their ideal dining destination based on requirements such as type of cuisine, price range, location and other diners' recommendations, alongside providing services such as restaurant reservations, dining deals and content on food and drinks in Singapore.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.