New Propositions Required

I’ve been in food business for many years. I played four major roles and still playing at least two of them. I have been a worker in a few 5-star hotels and had my own restaurant few years ago. The other two roles that i still play are an advocate and customer.

Let me tell you, it is not easy to run a food business. Its totally different of you’re working in one regardless your position. An analogy that may explain this; it’s difficult to be the cyclist than to be the most active spectator of a cycling tournament. Get it?

But as the most active spectator you can tell whether the cyclist is leading or behind. You can also feel whether he is in top form or lazy. You can also comment whether his outfit color nice or boring. Right?

That’s the role i want to play today and bring us to Pappa Rich Kopitiam (PRK).

PRK came to my attention when my wife showed me the shop and few days later we had our breakfast. The food was good. Unlike the incumbent kopitiam OTWC. The service @ PRK was good, ambience is nice but a little pricey. Usually extra by 20% from OTWC.

PRK started in Selayang and have been around 4 years already. The investment is huge (i can tell) because they are found in some mega malls in KL. Not much hype but quietly creeping into greater market share. You can go to www.papparich.com.my for more information.

But guys, those good stuffs about PRK have become common. New menu is needed, new service orientation need to be introduced, new menu is recommended and new innovation is welcomed. In short new standards is required.

Why do i say this?

a) Competition is picking up
I have yet to experience better kopitiam than PRK but the closest is OTWC and Bangi K. I am sure the incumbent feel the pinch and OTWC recently changed their menu and get another wave of customers

b) Current offering needs enhancement
People already know who and what is PRK. Nothing new. The bun, fish cake, kuay teow etc..So the curiosity has faded and it needs to be re-energized.

c) Rising middle income
I always emphasize growing middle income group because the threats and opportunities are real. McD is no longer fast food place, its already a family place for affordable food and hygienic restaurant. Kopitiam should evolve and follow the demographic and demand.

d) No competition
Currently there is no kopitiam that can give that kind of homey and “want to come back for more” feeling. Be one. Be it by introducing new services such as drive through, canned coffee or packed bread, or children play area etc..

Finally, the market needs it. Look at how suburban area like cheras, subang and putrajaya grows. These “subs” actually lived by middle income group. Not because they don’t have money to live @ urban but because they want more privacy and quiet area. The problem with this group because they live far from megamalls they like all “the conveniences” to come near them. For example hypermarkets, retail outlets and food joints.

New marketing strategies are needed:

a) New menu
Check your sales analytics and make the call. Keep the more popular ones and replace the less popular. Get some stuffs for children as well. Get them young!

b) New service
Other than just to create hype, introduce new service that can benefit the suburbs that you are servicing. Talk to them on how you can cater their family occassions and parties.

c) Invent new “repeat customers” plan
Currently many uses coupons and vouchers but c’mon we are in 21st century. You keep database? Give more value to repeat customers

d) Maintain service level
Not all PRK have the same taste and service levels. Need to organize a better way to make it consistent.

e) Engage online media
PRK has not done enough here. It used to be enough to have FB page but now that needs to start talking to the audience. You want to be included as a must visit place in a tourist calendar!

There are many ways if you sit down and re-evaluate your business propositions. The future is bright but the competition is getting very very tight. 😉

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