Words by Candy Tee
He Zhiyong started vegetarian food company Jing Xin Yuan (净心圆) with a vision to provide healthy food to busy consumers. “Working as a chef for many years, I noticed that there were many consumers who have no time to cook their meals. So I started selling vegetarian food as I feel that it is healthier,” shared He.
With the motto “净心圆 : 心态要善良，素食吃的健康” (One should have a kind heart; a way to good health is through vegetarian food), Jing Xin Yuan provides healthy food to vegetarians, religious individuals who go meat-free on the first and fifteenth of the Chinese lunar calendar, as well as consumers who generally wish to pursue a healthy-eating lifestyle.
Jing Xin Yuan has outlets at the Koufu Food Court at West Mall and Connexis Tower, where each branch prepares their wide array of vegetarian dishes on site. Like a typical economical mixed rice stall, consumers select their dishes of choice either à la carte, or pair with mains like rice or fried vermicelli.
Hard Work Behind the Scene
To prepare large quantities and different varieties of dishes, workers at Jing Xin Yuan have to cut large amounts of vegetables manually every day. The long hours of repetitive chopping and cutting resulted in chronic health conditions like stiff shoulders and muscle strains for the employees, especially for the older workers.
As they were also using traditional cookers, workers had to monitor the cooking process diligently so that food is adequately cooked. They also had to bear with the high, uncomfortable heat that the cookers produced.
Getting e2i’s Support
To improve the working conditions of his staff, He engaged the assistance of NTUC’s Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) for funding support under the WorkPro Job Redesign Scheme. The scheme provides support to companies to remodel their work processes to make them safer and smarter for older workers, and also increase the overall productivity of companies. With the grant, He purchased the Vegetable Cutter Machine and several cookers for Jing Xin Yuan’s establishments.
Vegetable Cutter Machine
The Vegetable Cutter Machine cuts up to 80kg of vegetables a day, which is a remarkable increase from the 30kg previously produced by manual cutting. In addition, workers only need to press the start button for the cutting process to be executed automatically. This reduces the amount of manual labour required from workers, making it simpler and safer for workers.
With the digitised cookers, workers can pre-set the desired temperature and cooking duration required for different dishes. The cookers switch off automatically according to the duration preset, which prevents over-cooking. Hence, workers do not need to oversee the cooking process and can perform other higher-value tasks instead. The preset cooking function also enhances the food quality and allows for consistency throughout the different branches.
These digitised cookers also produce much less heat than the traditional cookers, making the kitchen environment more comfortable for the workers.
Business After COVID-19
“Just before the COVID-19, we had plans to open another branch. However, as our business was affected during the circuit breaker, we decided to hold off on that,” revealed He.
Despite the dampened situation, Jing Xin Yuan continues to move ahead with the times. He disclosed, “Currently, we are perfecting our special vegetarian hotpot sauce for our consumers, so that they can bring home a healthier choice to share with their family. ”
Jing Xin Yuan is located at:
KOUFU West Mall
1 Bukit Batok Central Link, West Mall, #04-01, Singapore 658713
KOUFU Connexis Tower
1 Fusionopolis Way, Connexis Tower, #B2-02, Singapore 138632