Name of Recipient: Mr. Edwin Phua
Chef At Work Pte Ltd is a unique organisation offering professional Food and Beverage (F&B) business solutions for both veterans and young entrepreneurs alike. Founded in 2008 by industry veteran Edwin Phua, the company was conceived with the goal of helping clients succeed in the competitive food industry. By providing customised business plans that take the guesswork out of the equation, it saves valuable time and resources for food business owners. To achieve this, Chef At Work employs a team of business development associate, brand creative strategist, architects and experienced chefs to formulate an actionable business strategy from start to finish.
When it comes to restaurant or cafe setups, the company devises a 8 step plan built from the ground up to develop a unique brand identity that appeals to the target audience themed accurately towards the overall concept and location. Once the brand identity has been established, the team works towards aligning the brand theme with restaurant interior while balancing space efficiency with aesthetics. Following that, the groundwork for a strong foundation is laid with a meticulous operational procedure draft as well as the development of a menu that provides the best harmony of food costing and taste. The final polish comes with recommendations and technical expertise on using suitable technology systems as well as best practices in staffing and training.
Mature industry players, on the other hand, enlists Chef At Work for F&B Expansion Support. To grow the business, business owners may choose to enter joint venture & partnerships, franchising, go international, explore retail & merchandising, supply chain management. It all depends on the nature of the existing business. Every option has its own share of risks and rewards. Always with the customer in mind, Chef At Work’s core team works closely with management teams over an extended period of time till the fruits of strategy and planning are visible.
Chef At Work is the first company in Singapore to offer a holistic approach towards F&B business consulting encompassing everything from concept creation to training, construction, and commissioning. Edwin explains that after gathering feedback from customers, he noticed that there is a demand for comprehensive integrated package services rather than consultancy based on a singular focus. Having spotted this niche in the market, he decided to go into business.
The inception of Chef At Work was not without its challenges. Although Edwin’s previous experience as a chef was helpful, he needed to get up to speed with other aspects of the business if the company was to meet its goal of being a complete F&B solutions specialist.
Acting upon this, he took up an extensive number of courses and found a mentor. For Edwin, this was a necessary step to bringing value to his clients.
This commitment towards customers is a quality shared by the team at Chef At Work. A passionate group of people with expertise in a variety of disciplines, everyone is fully invested in the company’s vision of Redefining F&B Experiences. Edwin shares that seeing his team’s dedication and loyalty is inspiring and motivates him to work harder for them. It is a dynamic that has served the company well.
A quick look at Chef At Work’s extensive project history features a successful track record of F&B solutions with high profile local as well as international clients. Close to half of the company’s clients are estimated to be word-of-mouth referrals, a testament to the care and quality put into each project. The company has also successfully retained clients that have been with them since the beginning and continues to grow their business to this day.
When asked what were some of his most memorable projects, Edwin recalled a venture with Oaktree Capital, where the team was stationed in Greece for a year to work on 12 hotels. The remarkable success of the project was prominently featured in European media. While this showcased the team’s ability to handle large scale projects, it also highlighted their talent in tailor making solutions for different international landscapes.
For the next five years, Chef At Work seeks to expand their services beyond the scope of Restaurant Cafe Setup and F&B Expansion Support. Firstly, the team is looking to develop 10 F&B outlets under the Chef At Work name to showcase some of the company’s ideas and concepts. Plans to staff and train employees for the chains are already in the works. Secondly, in an effort to stay ahead of industry trends, old systems are being phased out while training methods are being updated. Lastly, the company is looking into opening a new department dedicated to serving mature F&B clients.
When offering advice for budding entrepreneurs on how to succeed in the highly competitive F&B sector, Edwin advises keeping an open mind to all perspectives and being ready to accept criticism while responding appropriately. While not always possible, finding a mentor can also provide a distinct advantage through their wealth of experience and guidance. Last but not least is to surround oneself with like-minded people who share the same goals and visions for success.
Chef At Work has achieved tremendous success by emphasising people and building relationships. As the company continues to forge new connections and break new ground, Edwin and his team look poised to cement their status as Key Opinion Leaders and trendsetters in the F&B industry.
67 Ubi Road 1, #05-02
Oxley Bizhub S(408730)
T| 6635 7394