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    Tipsy Collective: Serving a distinctive collection of F&B concepts to re-invigorate Singapore’s dining scene

    Tipsy Collective: Serving a distinctive collection of F&B concepts to re-invigorate Singapore’s dining scene

    • 04 April 2022
    • By OCBC Business Banking
    • 5 mins read

    In 2018, friends Derek Ong and David Gan agreed that the F&B scene in Singapore’s heartlands lacked vibrancy. Borne out of the duo’s ambitions to right this, they launched Tipsy Collective.

    Singapore’s F&B sector is an extremely challenging one. As a new brand entering a very saturated market, Tipsy Collective worked to differentiate their brand by infusing a unique gastronomical experience in each of their locations. Another strategy that was central to their pursuit of the venture in the first place was to bring their F&B concepts into the heartlands as well.

    After their initial discussion, David quickly roped his co-founder Derek to view a location near an old haunt of his in Tampines. As David puts it after scouting the location, “this place was amazing and that’s how the start of Tipsy Collective came about”. In 2018, the doors to their first F&B concept – Tipsy Penguin – were opened.


    “A restaurant is beyond good food, and a venue beyond good ambience”

    Encouraged by the success of Tipsy Penguin, the co-founders decided to grow their footprint. However, they didn’t want to simply replicate what Tipsy Penguin had become. To them, every location had to go beyond simply serving good food and having a good ambience – they had to be unique and have character.

    Derek explains that “we want to create an environment where the experience is not bound by usual expectations or any limitations”. In essence, each of their location had to have their own unique Tipsy experience.

    Over the span of the next three years, the co-founders brought other F&B concept ideas that they had to life. Today, Tipsy Collective has 10 established brands islandwide, like Tipsy Panda, a 1940s-inspired cocktail bar, and Tipsy Flamingo, a beach-themed gastropub opened in collaboration with local artistes, Pierre Png and Andrea De Cruz.

    Tipsy Collective has also branched out beyond the Tipsy brand. Lady Wu, a chic rooftop bar in the heart of Boat Quay that prides itself on serving up delectable food to complement its drinks. Takeshi Noodle Bar, which opened its doors in April 2019, is billed as the birthplace of Singapore’s first seafood mala ramen joint. Most recently, the team launched Jelebu Dry Laksa in October 2021, concocting a modern twist on the well-loved traditional Peranakan dish. 


    COVID-19: Full of uncertainties but also full of opportunities

    Anyone working in the F&B sector cannot ignore the impact of COVID-19. As one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic, the government extended support, such as the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) for the sector beyond what most other sectors got.

    For Tipsy Collective, it was a double whammy as the business was built not only upon its unique food concepts but also a unique community vibe which could only be fully experienced at its locations.

    Despite the dim outlook, David acknowledged that opportunities were aplenty during COVID-19. To take advantage of these opportunities, Tipsy Collective leaned on support from OCBC SME as its banking and financing partner.

    With fresh financing secured in hand, Tipsy Collective could continue pouring fire on its plans to introduce new F&B ideas.

    At the height of COVID-19 uncertainties, Tipsy Collective also launched Hadouken on 7 April 2020 – the first day of the Circuit Breaker in Singapore. Hadouken is its first delivery-only food concept to serve customers purely online.

    Seeing light at the end of the tunnel, Tipsy Collective has more recently launched Tipsy Bunny, its latest F&B concept offering up fusion-flavoured, hand-stretched pizzas in Jurong.


    Holistic business banking solutions for F&B entrepreneurs

    Starting and growing an F&B business in Singapore is no easy feat. From F&B loans to digital solutions, our dedicated team of F&B specialists will provide you with the right solutions to match your business needs. Leverage our F&B loans to help you expand your restaurant chain, upgrade your kitchen equipment or procure supplies and ingredients. This way, you can capture business opportunities at hand, or adjust your purchasing in a flexible manner based on shifts in demand or supply chain.

    Adopt our digital solutions for convenient and real-time collections and payments to optimise your operations and instantly know how much your individual outlets have collected without any manual reconciliation required. You can also base your hiring and purchasing decisions (among others) based on the outlets that are collecting the most revenue or experiencing spikes or dips in its collections.

    As with most businesses, there may be regulatory requirements and individual needs to purchase protection. Safeguard your F&B business with our comprehensive protection via Great Eastern.

    Let us help you serve up the best versions of your dishes and expand your culinary footprint with our comprehensive suite of solutions, regardless of the expansion stage your business is in.

    Find out how our F&B Specialists can help you achieve your goals and finance your business plans today.


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