For anyone looking to succeed in the restaurant business, it is definitely true that when you first start out you have no guarantee that what you do will succeed or spectacularly fail in the future. There is no 100% fixed formula for you to study. Instead, there is only you to spot the opportunities. If you want to succeed, you have to get your hands dirty and do the work. You need to learn from yourself and always be open to learning from other people's experiences.
Today we invite you to learn from the success of famous restaurants and to study the strategies that guaranteed their success from direct experience, along with concepts that enabled them to grow faster, that tore up the rules on what restaurants should be like, and how to correct mistakes so that customers are always forgiving. We invite all entrepreneurs to apply their lessons.
Suki Tee Noi Restaurant Chain
We can say that it is the favorite restaurant chain for Suki buffet lovers. The restaurant offers affordable prices and services that meet customer needs in many areas. In 2020, the restaurant has 18 branches opened up only after just two years. Longtunman revealed that in 2019 the Suki Tee Noi restaurant chain generated as much as 499 million baht in revenue. What are the chain's strengths contributing to its leaping growths? We will take you to trace their path to success with Ms. Natthamon Pisankitwanich, owner of the Suki Tee Noi Restaurant Chain.
Giving Great Customer Experiences: We try to make our chain different from ordinary Suki buffet restaurants by offering our starting price at 199 baht to be able to eat beef and seafoods such as shrimps and squids as much as customers want. We also have employees to help scoop ingredients so that customers don't have to walk around and dish up their own meals. With our high number of employees, we are able to quickly serve ingredients, and customers don't have to wait for a long time. Customers also get to sit and eat in an air-conditioned and attractively-decorated room. In addition, parking spaces are wide and spacious. All of these things add to the feeling of value in customers, so they want to come back frequently.
Generating sales during Covid-19: It was announced that we had to close, so we sought to maintain our sales by making Tee Noi jade egg noodles and then making takeaway and delivery Suki into sets that customers can take home. We received our first preorders on Facebook at 9:00 pm. We took pictures and posted them ourselves. It turned out that lots of customers ordered through the inbox. That made us feel that a lot of customers were still waiting for us and we had to keep going and not give up.
Using Facebook as a direct communications channel: Rather than pay for restaurant advertisements on TV or billboards, marketing costs are recovered by offering customer promotions or prizes frequently such as by unconditionally letting the first 100 people to visit the restaurant through Facebook to eat for free. We offered lots of prizes for our customers.
Tee Noi Suki FC Meeting: We thanked all customers of Tee Noi Suki for having always supported us by giving away prizes and meals and holding talks between customers and executives. That's because we believe that customers are the reason for our success; that’s why we pay a lot of attention to our customers.
Click to watch the full HMA Talk video tracing the path to success of Tee Noi Suki here
Rongsi Studio Restaurant
"I was looked down upon with the notion that I was successful because my mother was rich. However, having money alone does not make everything easy. I noticed a lot of people with a lot of money who failed anyway. No one knows how I actually succeeded."
That's why today we would like to take you to trace the success of the young entrepreneur Mr. Likhit Sinsathapornpong, a man who dusted off a 140-year-old rice mill and turned it into the No. 1 riverside café of Pakkred while generating several million baht each month.
Your Dream Business Has to Also Make Money: Because I studied interior design, I wanted to open a restaurant and decorate it in my own style. My idea was to create art while also running a money-making business. Doing anything is not just about dreaming it. I don't think the world is beautiful. To survive for a long time, it has to be a business. It has to make money.
The Story of a Restaurant That Cannot Be Copied: I dared to create a café out of a completely wooden rice mill because I wasn't afraid of the old structures and things. I looked at how they constructed it. Before, teak was used for the slot for looking at the rice. Nowadays, it's stainless steel or galvanized steel. Constructing a whole new restaurant doesn't give it a story that you can't copy. The longer it stays, 100 or 300 years, the more enchanted it will feel.
Meeting Customer Needs: You can say that this is more than a café. In addition to offering meals to fill our customers, we also offer homestay services. That's because, in order to turn your dream into money, you need to give customers what they want. Whatever they want, you have to put it together.
Daring to Break Traditional Business Norms: This restaurant is located on an island. There are no roads. People have to get on a boat to reach it. You can say that it’s completely against everything about business. I liked this kind of restaurant location. I don't want people to easily arrive and park. It has to be hard. When people check-in to destinations, they want to go to new places. If they're hard to access and fewer people can go there, they will feel more impressed.
Supporting the Community: Some ingredients are delivered to us by people on the island such as nor mai kala or other vegetables. I don't want to succeed alone. I want to help the community as well.
Sports-game-style Business Planning: In business, think far ahead. Don't just look at just one shot. In comparing the business with sports, it's like we're playing snooker. We have to look at the entire table and all shots. I've already looked at everything.
Have a Backup Plan if You Want to Invest: People who run successful café businesses have to have backup projects and then use their income to support their café businesses. I think doing that is okay because cafés are long-term businesses and won't give your money back right away.
We invite you to trace the path to success of Chef May Patthanan Thongthong, Executive Owner Chef of the Maze Dining Restaurant and one of the participants of Top Chef Thailand SS1. He opened a fine dining restaurant offering chef table services and meals in courses. With the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, the chef was unable to open his restaurant. Although he had to change his menu items for delivery, Chef May used methods to make food taste as good as when customers dine at the restaurant and uses quality control techniques that don't do a disservice to the chef's reputation.
Making Comfort Food Menu Items for Delivery: Our concept is to make menu items and presentation which are easy to access at affordable prices. Thus, we turned menu items into comfort foods, while keeping in mind that the foods delivered to customers will still taste the same.
Applying Kitchen Management Principles: Inventory and stock management and kitchen management, especially in turning food into frozen food, before we present it for delivery help reduce cost and effectively manage the kitchen while saving a lot of kitchen work time.
FollowingHACCP Principles: Hot food is cooled as quickly as possible in order to minimize bacteria growth and to keep delivery meals fresh and reach customers' hands in excellent condition. Food packing also ensures that food reaches customers in a professional manner.
Always Think about the Customers: Although the concept has changed, quality remains the same. We're always thinking about what we would want if we were customers ourselves. If we want to eat a certain kind of food and we pay 100% attention to it, it will reach customers with the same 100%.
In food business circles, Copper Buffet is the king of buffets and a recipe for new buffets. Before it became so successful, it had to overcome a lot of obstacles. So, let's get to know Mr. Kasemsan Sattayarak, General Manager, the person responsible for taking Copper Buffet sturdily over its obstacles and in charge of ensuring that its 100 employees work according to plan.
Executives with Good Vision: Somsak Pinitsakkul, owner of the Copper Buffet Restaurant, adhered to the policy of taking excellent care of customers, using superb ingredients without loss of quality, and making sure that customers think of the restaurant with every bite in line with the motto of "the more you give, the more you get; and the more you hold back, the less you get back."
Daring to Do What Other Restaurants Haven't Done: We ate at many different international buffets, and we found that no one had turned international buffets into an à la minute or fine dining format plate-per-plate. We knew it was difficult, but we wanted to revolutionize the international buffet circles in Thailand.
Daring to Risk by Starting Business at a Loss: When the restaurant was first opened, the deficit for the first six months was nearly 1 million baht per month because costs were really high. However, we accepted it because we wanted to offer the dream buffet of many people.
Quickly Giving Explanations and Apologies and Taking Responsibility When Doing Something Wrong: In late 2019, we renovated the restaurant by adding 80 seats and inviting 300 bloggers and YouTubers to promote the restaurant. We spent 2 million baht in the investment. Copper became famous, becoming and all-new Copper buffet. Then the next day 2,000 member customers were allowed to make reservations first. But then an unexpected event happened. Food orders couldn't be processed. The water wasn't running. The power went out, and we couldn't collect our bills. As a result, we announced that,for customers who already paid their 50% deposit, we weren't going to collect the rest of the fees. Then I personally apologized to every table. We thought we were doing our best, but that wasn't good enough. We felt really disappointed in what happened, and we cried about it. Every employee cried. We rehearsed everything over and over again. We did everything, and we didn't expect it to go wrong.
Treat Employees Like Family: The restaurant has 100 employees. I was an employee before. I learned that not everyone is the same, and that not everyone communicates in the same way. So, we always held meetings. However, we talked only a little bit about work. We talked more about how to live and care for the family and handle problems with children. Everyone came to me. It was like I was their father, brother or relative.
The Profit of Giving: Profits come from us doing good things, thinking well first and giving first. If we only look at the profits and employees can't stay, and customers don't get to eat good food, and employees and the team all have problems, if everyone is out only to take and take, I don't think any of that is Copper's way of doing things.
Systematic stock management: For the most part, entrepreneurs use the POS machine for the front just to bill customers. However, Copper also uses it in the back office. Cost control involves the back office from product acceptance to product recording and storage and even distribution.
More than thinking is actual application. You can think it, but you have to actually do it, just like how Copper Buffet managed to become successful today. Click to watch the full MHA Talk video on tracing the path to success of the Copper Buffet Restaurant here: