Shane Pow's restaurant, Mojo, opened its doors at Telok Ayer last week, and while he may be new to the F&B game, these celebs aren't. We get them to dish out some tips on running a successful restaurant.
“Positive brand association is very important. For example, I run a Thai restaurant, and people can associate me with that because I’m Thai. Also, out of all the hosts in Mediacorp, I’m the one who does the most number of food variety programmes. So, when I have a food establishment, it clicks with people. Food wise, rather than saying it has to be nice, I’d say it has to be consistent. Let’s say some people find my Thai Iced Tea very sweet. However, I won’t make it less sweet because others might like how it tastes in the first place. I have to be consistent to attract returning customers.” -Pornsak, who owns Thai establishment Porn’s, with five outlets here.
“The product is very important. Before you sell something, you need to see if it suits the crowd in that location. You should also make sure that there is a main product that attracts customers. For example, my Tenderfresh outlets are known for its fried chicken and fusion pasta such as Laksa Spaghetti. Those are the key dishes that people would think of if they want to come to Tenderfresh. Cash flow is important too, especially for F&B outlets. The items are perishable and need to be thrown out every few days. If there is no cash flow, an eatery can close down within six months.” –Ben Yeo, owner of eight Tenderfresh eateries.
“Manpower is a very important factors when it comes to F&B. Customers usually go back to an eatery if the service is good. However, if you are running a huge restaurant which requires many staff, it’d be very challenging to hire that many people and still ensure good service. Always remember, you are charging your customers 10% service charge, so you need to give them more than 100% of your service.” –Mark Lee, who owns four Old Town White Coffee outlets in Singapore.
“I think we have to understand that whatever your setup is, some people will like it, and some people won’t. It’s essential to identify the demographics clearly and know who we are serving. Engaging a pool of experienced staff is important too, but of course that comes at a higher cost. As for food, we try to understand our customers’ tastebuds and cater to the majority. It’s impossible to make everyone love our food because different people like different food and taste is subjective.” –Cynthia Koh, co-owner of Mischief, which serves American street food.