Unique Food Solutions: Singapore Prestige Class Award 2021/2022

Unique Food Solutions final
Unique Food Solutions final

Adrian Ng, Founder

Passion for the Food Industry

Unique Food Solutions is a one-stop food delivery service started by Adrian Ng, with three missions in mind: simplicity, excellent service, and customer’s satisfaction.  Simplicity refers to the ease of the ordering process, excellent service refers to their commitment to providing the best and timely delivery, and customer’s satisfaction is the end goal that they always aim for at the end of the day. Unique Food Solutions carries a wide range of products from food and beverages to daily household necessities. Other than supplying to F&B outlets, hotels, and shops, they also provide direct-to-consumer delivery. Customers also have many options to place orders, be it via Whatsapp, email, or even on e-commerce platforms such as Shopee and Lazada. “We also provide free delivery for orders of $60 and above,” Adrian says.

Adrian started in the culinary industry, having worked as a chef for over 10 years at hotels and restaurants. He specializes in both Western and Asian cuisines. When he was met with an unfortunate accident in 2007, Adrian was then forced to take a long break to heal from his injuries. “It was during that time that I took driving lessons and went to buy a car,” says Adrian. His friend introduced him to the food delivery industry, which sparked a passion in him to finally start his own business. “At first, I was hesitant to do it because of the uncertainties it brings. My wife and I just got a new house, a new car, as well as a newborn baby. However, my wife encouraged me to pursue the opportunity and gave her full support by looking after our two kids while I worked on the new business from scratch,” shares Adrian.

A Business That Cares

Adrian rented his uncle’s warehouse and received support from fellow chef friends who placed orders with him for their restaurants, kickstarting the whole entrepreneurial journey. He set up the current company under a different name in 2012, and later it was rebranded to Unique Food Solutions in 2017. In order to make themselves stand out from similar competitors, Adrian makes it a point to always be in tune with the current market demand. He and his team are not afraid to go out of their way to source specialty items or make urgent deliveries, in order to fulfill customers’ requests. “That is what sets us apart from similar grocery delivery services, because they usually carry limited stocks and only allow you to choose from limited delivery time slots,” he explains.

Over the years, Unique Food Solutions has grown from a small team to now employing 20 staff for roles such as admins, accountants, packers, drivers, and warehouse staff. Some of them have been with Adrian since day one. “A few of our staff are also seniors in their 60s,” Adrian says. He believes in supporting the government’s directive to employ older members of the public. In terms of managing staff’ performance, he says that his expectations for each individual are also adjusted based on their age. When a staff member is found to be underperforming, he will sit down with them to try to understand and rectify the issue. “Be it an administrative mistake or a missing item during delivery, we always try to rectify the issue within the same day,” says Adrian. “I also do not believe in issuing warning letters or deducting the employee’s salary when such incidents happen. I prefer to take a more gentle approach by having a proper conversation with them, and instilling mutual understanding with the affected employee.”

Thriving Through Family’s Support

In the near future, Adrian hopes to keep on expanding the inventory of the products that they carry. He is also looking to go into meat manufacturing. “My passion for the culinary industry is still there, so I hope to one day start a restaurant business using our own produce,” he explains. To Adrian, the most fulfilling thing about this profession is being able to build a genuine relationship with both his employees as well as his customers. He always makes it a point to look after the welfare of his staff. For the customers, being able to fulfill their request in an efficient and timely manner is always his goal. “It also makes me really happy to see the drivers and customers are friendly to each other. That means they have established a rapport, and the drivers also really enjoy doing what they do,” he further shares.

Starting his own business was not an easy feat for Adrian. He had to learn a lot of things along the way. Once, a supplier told him that he has to have a leader’s mentality: strong, disciplined, and determined. That advice stuck with him and helped him to push himself when things got tough. “Running your own business requires a great deal of responsibility,” says Adrian. “There were days when I was not feeling well, but as the leader, I still had to show up. You also have to realize that you are not only responsible for yourself and your family, but also the welfare of your employees and their families,” he shares wisely.

Adrian felt that he did not excel academically when he was young, so being able to run his own business now is an achievement that he does not take lightly. He also gives credits to his wife, who has been his greatest supporter from the start. “Thanks to my wife’s encouragement and sacrifice to look after our two children, I was able to really focus my efforts into building this company. Our relatives would also sometimes render their help, for example with packing. I am really grateful for the immense support from my family,” shares Adrian.

For aspiring entrepreneurs, Adrian advises to choose something that you are passionate about and can see yourself pursuing in the long run. “For me, my passion has always been the culinary and food industry,” he says. Being an ex-chef himself, Adrian would also support chefs who come out to start their own business by providing supplies at discounted rates, since he understands the challenges. He further says that one also has to have a responsible mentality and be determined in their pursuit. When the going gets tough, he reminds fellow entrepreneurs to think about the people who are at stake, such as family, staff members, as well as the customers. That helps to give him the motivation to keep going. “Also, be open to creative ideas and inputs from others. Think out of the box, and think a few steps ahead,” he concludes.

For more information on Unique Food Solutions, please visit their website at http://www.uniquefood.sg/ or Whatsapp them at +65 9139 2153. They are also available on e-commerce platforms Shopee and Lazada.

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