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FOOD & BEVERAGE | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore
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Meet a resto-preneur who opened 5 restaurants in just one year

He’s the man behind Jus Delish Group.

There’s an old saying which goes: “you can’t be truly motivated to pursue your dream until you get out of your comfort zone.” Ralph Liow, a budding resto-repreneur took this to heart when he quit his comfortable job for 7 years as a general manager of an international food operator and decided to set up his own restaurant chain.

Ralph, 42, is the founder and current managing director of Jus Delish Group, where he curated 3 different restaurant concepts from scratch. One is a Thai restaurant that started last year called Gin Khao. It now has 3 outlets. The second one is a modern Thai fusion restaurant, Som Tam, located in Orchard Road. It also started operation just late last year. Finally, Talay Kata, a Thai Mookata concept that can seat 200 customers is set to open in the third quarter of 2016.

“These restaurants really mark my first step towards becoming a resto-repreneur. I have to say that my stint as the general manager of an international food operator helps a lot as I am able to understand the intricacies of the operation aspects of running a restaurant and effectively tend to all the front-end and back-end challenges/issues like procurement, budgeting, costing calculation, marketing, among others,” said Ralph.

Ralph’s whole career in the F&B & retail field spans over 20 years. Just like other successful resto-repreneurs, he slowly worked his way up to take on a managing role. He is also a chef by training and has deep love for good food and food sharing.

Ralph shared that his experiences in international food operator, Minor Food Group, developed his personal attributes that aided his journey including perseverance, passion for food, ability to grasp opportunities as and when they arise, and his communication skills. He joined the firm in 2008 and was part of the conceptualization and setting up of a 500-seater international buffet, a 350-seater Japanese buffet, a Japanese coffee house, Chinese Shanghai soup restaurant, local curries concept restaurant, and Penang concept restaurant. All of these are still running successfully, with most of them branching out to up to four outlets.

“I like to experiment with different types of ingredients and herbs to come up with cuisines that transcend culinary boundaries, while not compromising on the taste aspects,” he said.

Ralph is adept at dishing up Thai, Chinese and local delicacies with Western and Japanese imprints in his recipes’ formulation. He shared that his customer's smiling faces motivate him the most and the belief that one day, he will be able to do his part to bring Singaporean cuisine onto the global food map.

Ralph’s first restaurant

According to Ralph, starting a restaurant is by no means an easy feat but with a supportive partner, the implementation phase becomes much smoother. Ralph shared that he was poached by an acquaintance named Brandon Ng, who saw the potential of this F&B business kicking off. Brandon, he said, is an esteemed businessman with successful forays into many endeavours.

“Upon learning of my track record in the F&B industry, coupled with my interest in food, we immediately started penning down our plans and ideas on how we are to collaborate to make the brand big in the F&B field,” he said.

Ralph said that leveraging on the strong back-end support - human resource, marketing, project management team - is already inherent in Brandon’s established company. Ralph’s main task was then more on overseeing the operations part of the business.

We are looking for entrepreneurs with bright minds regardless of age who are rising to the top and changing the future of Singapore business. If you know anyone who does for possible feature, please send a message to Krisana at krisana@charltonmediamail.com:

Eligibility:

1. The Nominee must be based in Singapore.
2. Must have founded his or her own company. It must be registered or have operation in Singapore.
3. The Nominee must have a record of extraordinary achievements and professional experiences.

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