Building towards IPO for Vietnamese F&B Startup
In the startup scene, tech-based entities are aplenty, whereas F&B-based setups are far and few in comparison. This made KAfe Group all the more unique given its core value proposition of a fusion cafe vertical. The business is founded by Chi Anh Dao, who made a name for herself being one of the youngest and most promising entrepreneurs in the Vietnamese startup community. Having secured $5.5 million in private equity funding from Hong Kong-based Cassia Investments (a gruelling process which featured lawyers and international auditors), KAfe group is looked upon as a benchmark of growth for startups and F&Bs in its local scene.
Chef At Work entered the picture as the growing startup readied itself for IPO in London and Hong Kong. It needed assistance from industry expertise to evaluate and restructure its entire corporate structure and business prospectus. This is when the management reached out to us. After initial meetings and running through the financial models of the company, we gathered a solid understanding of the business’s strengths and directions.
Under the KAfe Group umbrella is 12 fusion cafes, each with its unique appeal, concept, and branding. This encompassed The KAfe, The KAfe Village, The Burger Box, The Kafe Box, and fresh press juices under The KAfe Pressed. Beyond merely focusing on drinks and desserts like other market offerings, the group’s concepts tailored a unique fusion menu which served up a wide variety of dishes spanning from Eastern to Western.
Set in Vietnam, a country that’s still developing, KAfe Group faces a challenging in hiring high-quality staff and experienced cooks. This meant that tighter internal controls and processes were required to stabilise the internals of the business to ensure operational efficiency and financial due diligence. As a close advisor to the board and CEO, we were able to impart our experience and expertise in implementing high standards of corporate governance. By running through the systems hand-in-hand with the CFO, we were able to instil tighter cost control measures.
Having understood their business challenges, Chef At Work readily crafted growth strategies for the next 5 years.
At the core of this, we introduced Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that enabled KAfe Group’s central kitchen to achieve HACCP certification standards, a rarity in the local F&B scene. This system achieved higher hygiene quality for the 12 brands. We also introduced and Kitchen SOPs and practices that levelled up the skill sets of staff. Working closely with their Quality Assurance Manager, we carried out training to ensure staff adhered to new standards.
We also developed Franchising Kits to help take the success of the 12 brands even further, a fast and efficient way to replicate the success of the concepts. In line with this, we refreshed the branding and existing concept for each of the 12 outlets, boosting its overall digital presence.
This included plans to develop loyalty programmes, call centres and e-commerce platforms.
Overall, our efforts successfully strengthened the company’s internal process and tied up many loose ends that are present in every early-stage company. These gave the management and board a well-needed confidence boost in driving the brand’s path of growth towards IPO.