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New Pizza Lineup

Joe & Dough and Chef At Work’s close working relationship goes all the way back to both brands’ early years, where we worked closely to support Joe & Dough in its early stages. Since then, they have been one of Chef At Work’s recurring clients for injecting fresh new elements into their concept.

 

Naturally, we reentered the picture when Joe & Dough decided to introduce a new lineup of wholesome pizzas to its menu. Already established in the Central Business District for sandwiches and handcrafted coffee, the client wanted to craft out a new segment of providing delicious and filling pizzas that can be paired with a fragrant cup of joe for any time of the day.

Under this project, Chef At Work was entrusted with menu creation, research and development, food styling, ingredient costing, and staff training.Through the course of our involvement, we decided to create innovative pizzas with a unique dough while retaining both classical and contemporary flavours that cater to the evolving local flavour profiles. This ranged from the all-time classic Hawaiian Aloha Oi! and Pepperoni Yours, to new signatures like the aromatic Truffle Shuffle and Korean-inspired Gangnam Style.

 

Using quality and fresh ingredients, our recipe required the dough to be hand-kneaded and baked fresh at the pizzeria. Each slice is filling and scrumptious while remaining affordable for the masses and pairs easily with the store’s beverages and other items. This led us to strike a good balance while doing up the food costing and R&D. Our recipe also required us to train and equip existing staff to be able to serve up the pizzas consistent in quality and freshness.

The new line-up was first rolled out at Junction 8 in Bishan while being selectively rolled out at other outlets islandwide and has been a popular staple on the menu.

 

 

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.

Exquisite French Patisserie & Bakery In South Korea

Set in the trendy district of Hannam-dong is Passion 5, a premium dessert patisserie and cafe. Engaged by SPC Group, Chef At Work was tasked with project managing the entire setup. This was inclusive of all 8 components of our Restaurant Cafe Setup service. Highlighted in this case study are brand creation, concept design, and menu development.

Strategically situated beside Hangangjin Station, Passion 5 is easily accessible for people from all walks of life, particularly from within the Central Business District. The thought processes behind the entire project tailored a customer experience that left lasting impressions visually and in taste. Every level of the Passion 5 building featured unique concepts, which catered to the different spending power of consumers.

The brand prominently featured French pastry techniques and lifestyle, with warm colour tones that were friendly and approachable. Passion 5’s name is derived from five components: namely the bakery, chocolates, patisserie, cafe, and lastly the passion of the those behind the famed desserts.

 

 

This also meant that unlike typical dessert cafes which are limited to only one or two specialities, our team had to design an ambitious setup that is able to specialise in all four areas of baking, chocolate making, pastry, and desserts.

Passion 5’s patrons are treated to a visual spectacle of the patisserie’s handiwork on elegant display cases. A 360-degree cake display draws in their attention, who are then able to enjoy the delicious delights in the adjacent gallery-esque sit-down area. The exquisite concept and design have earned the cafe a spot on the Korean Tourism Organization’s list of attractions.

Importing a Hala Franchise from Indonesia Successfully

For meat lovers who have been to Indonesia, they should be no strangers to the name Kambing Bakar Cairo, a brand famous for its signature chargrill roast lamb. We are proud to have helped this franchise open its first outlet in Singapore. Here we’ll be sharing some keys that we paid attention to on our journey.

 

Taste

Taste – the most important attribute when it comes to food and beverage businesses. When importing a food brand from overseas, this can get a little tricky. Different markets have different access to raw materials. In Cairo’s case, meat is sourced from different suppliers in Singapore than that in its home ground Indonesia. Furthermore, while similar, Singaporeans have slightly different tastes compared with Indonesians. So here’s the question & challenge: should the taste be localised or authentic to its roots? We are hard pressed to give a definite answer, though we do believe this should ideally evolve into an ongoing process by taking in feedback from customers consistently. After all, customers vote with their wallets.

 

Shop Feel

Do we recreate the same shop feel? Acquainted patrons will immediately register a sense of familiarity. For new patrons, however, it’s the first impression. That’s why while we could technically revamp the entire concept, we decided it’s best to preserve the same brand identity. After all, strong brands are built upon consistency.

 

Operational Workflow

The main difference between Singapore and other markets? Land space is more scarce and thus more costly. This directly translates tighter work spaces in the kitchen. Poor kitchen workflow means more work for kitchen staff, and directly longer waiting time for customers, which naturally affects their level of satisfaction. In addition, what’s uncommon about Kambing Bakar Cairo is its usage of a real chargrill to for its roast meat. As a result, we carried out our kitchen design with a clear intent to smoothen kitchen workflow and optimise space.

 

Publicity

Unlike new food brands, Cairo already has good brand equity. This means customers recognise, identify, and is willing to engage with the brand. As evident on social media and in-store traffic, Cairo had an easier start compared to other new F&B businesses. This is a key reason as to why some prefer buying an existing successful franchise, versus going through the voyage of creating a brand from scratch.

 

Price

The last major point: price, a major consideration for entering every new market. As with the economics of demand and supply, lower prices naturally draws more customers. But the pitfall is that it’s always easier to drop prices than increase prices in the long run. One strategy is to start with higher base prices which can be offset with promotions. Depending on the promotion strategy, it can be used to offer discounts or upsell.

Lastly and most importantly, we find the biggest key to Cairo’s success is a shared commitment between the franchisor and franchisee. Good and fair partners can be challenging to find, but these relationships are the most rewarding, especially in the F&B scene.

 

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CHEF AT WORKHeadquarters
Serving young entrepreneurs and industry veterans alike internationally
GET IN TOUCHChef At Work Social
Follow us on our social platforms for updates and insights

Copyright by Chef At Work Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright by Chef At Work Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.