FOOD & BEVERAGE | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Taiwan’s Sufood hit Singapore

Eight more outlets coming in five years.

Sufood, which originated from Taiwan, has arrived in Singapore under the flagship of Sufood Singapore.

Sufood offers Italian-inspired casual meat-free dining appealing to a wide variety of diners including vegetarians, vegans and also meat-eaters. The restaurant believes that eating less meat will provide a healthier lifestyle.

Sufood Singapore was made possible through a joint venture of Putien Restaurant and Womprime Group. The restaurant exemplifies playful cross-fusion approach to culinary creations.

In an interview with vice-chairman and president of Wowprime Group Endy Wong, he revealed that the total investment for the Singapore expansion was 30 million New Taiwan Dollar or approximately 1.25 million Singapore dollars.

He shared that their roadmap for growth can be described as the “3,5,8” plan - in the next three years, Sufood Singapore plans to open five new outlets; in the next five years to open eight outlets.

Humble beginnings

According to Endy, Sufood was formed to address the growing market potential in Asia for healthier eating.

“In Taiwan, while many people wish to eat healthier, they also don’t want to compromise on great taste. How then could vegetarian compete with the enormous array of delicious meat dishes? For me, the critical key success factor was to create vegetarian food that is equally as tasty as a meat dish," he said

Endy noted that their vision presented quite a few obstacles in the early days. Traditionally, vegetarian food in Asia has meant mock meats or vegetarian dining for religious beliefs. In a way, this, he said, makes vegetarian fare not so accessible to those who are not religious. Wowprime wanted to create a new-style of vegetarian eating that is accessible, casual, and modern in taste and presentation.

Sufood offers an innovative approach to vegetarian fare. Its menu claims to be affordably priced but with a tremendous amount of care and mindfulness put into choosing the ingredients and refining the taste and presentation.

"At the time when Sufood was launched, there really wasn’t any other similar modern-style vegetarian restaurant. At first diners didn’t understand or didn’t know that Sufood served vegetarian food. Only upon entering the restaurant and reading the menu did they discover that Sufood was all-vegetarian! Through vigorous marketing efforts, extensive media tastings and word of mouth, the general public came to know about Sufood. Now, diners come to Sufood regularly because they crave a healthy dining experience - plus it won’t put a dent in their pocket," said Endy.

Wong said that the Singapore menu will sync with Taiwan for the initial year. Beyond that, the menu will gradually be adjusted and fine-tuned based on things like customer feedback and what is best suited to the local market.

Wowprime-Putien partnership

According to Endy, Wowprime and Putien share many synergies as they have a similar company culture - both companies care deeply about their employees and promote profit sharing scheme of 33 percent.

“I have known the CEO, Mr. Fong Chi Fung for several years now since we first met eight years ago at an F&B summit in Taiwan. Throughout the tour, I noticed that one man taking notes and working especially hard; this was Mr. Fong. At the time, Mr Fong only had one Putien outlet and now the company has eight outlets in just a short period of time. To Wowprime, this demonstrates that Putien is a capable company with great potential. The passion of Mr. Fong combined with the strong net profits of Putien convinced myself and Wowprime that this would be a good partnership," said Endy.

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Taiwan’s Sufood hit Singapore

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