habitat by honestbee: How tech powers the homegrown online grocery store in its first physical dining concept

Online meets offline

Text: Janice Sim

Image: Hazirah Rahim

The ubiquity of tech has always eliminated the need for physical interactions. We're so lost in our smartphones that we don't engage with our loved ones at the dinner table. We're emailing the colleague sitting across from us, just so we don't have to walk over to start a conversation. 

But homegrown online start-up Honestbee might have just done the impossible. Instead of being torn between offline and online actions, they've invented a space where both polarising pillars can co-exist — the world's first tech-enabled grocery and dining concept, habitat by honestbee.

We would like to call this grocery shopping for the new generation. In fact, we're even sensing Black Mirror nuances from this massive debut.

It all starts with an app, where patrons can only enter the premises by scanning their 'Bee pass' — which seals in their Honestbee credits and shopping habits. The app also means shoppers can experience a cashless checkout experience (for up to 10 items) — where you can purchase the product by scanning it from your phone along the aisles. For those pushing a fully loaded trolley, head to their AutoCheckout station.  All you need to do is to push it in, past the gates where the smart machinery will take care of the scanning and packing for you. Everything happens in a single swift motion, and you'll receive a notification on your phone in no less than five minutes to inform you that your Honestbee haul is ready for collection.

So where are the humans in this equation? Well they're plotted in every ingenious culinary station — serving up the freshest daily imports of seafood, whole grains, meats etc. There's just about everything here. We're talking fresh grain bowls, grilled meats from a binchotan, specialty coffee, shucked oysters, charcuterie, cheese and even an elusive liquor cavern that we found hard to part with. Incorporating various cuisines under one shelter, every concept here is meticulously planned and mapped out in such a way that you'll be able to locate related products that you have just savoured, at the aisle next door. The smart use of tech also translates to nifty conveyor belts up above, carrying out the orders of online purchases, and ultimately transporting them to the packing zone. 

If this is what the future of grocery shopping looks like, we're making a list, stat. 

34 Boon Leat Terrace, #01-01
Opening hours: 8am-10pm


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