FT Consulting Helps Clients “Carve a Succulent Slice of the Market”
– Business Times Feature, 12 Feb 2013
John Ong, CEO and MD of FT Consulting, was recently featured in the Business Times (published 12 Feb 2013), alongside successful client, the Starworth Group, the company behind the Brazilian churrascaria concept restaurant, Carnivore. The article emphasized the importance of matching the right branding concept to the right timing and location for expansion locally and overseas.
Launched in Chijmes in 2004, Carnivore introduced an original, understated and fun dining-out experience, combining the spirit of Brazilian zest with high quality barbequed meat to pamper the taste buds, without the expertise of a Michelin-starred chef.
In 2007, having established 2 outlets and taking into consideration the limited size of the local market, Carnivore decided to explore the potential to grow and expand the brand beyond local shores. The challenge was doing so in an environment of intense competition with new F&B concepts being constantly introduced into the market.
To further strengthen Carnivore’s brand positioning and prepare it for overseas expansion, FT Consulting was engaged. “These days, offering good food and good service is a given”, says FT Consulting’s Mr John Ong. “That’s why the emotional connection with the customer becomes critical. A restaurant needs to have that X factor.”
FT Consulting then proceeded to sieve out the key strengths of the business and develop a strategy that magnifies the Brazilian cultural and celebratory aspect of the dining experience. John explains this approach by saying “We told them this is an important element to accentuate because it isn’t just a place where you get your money’s worth eating a lot of food. Carnivore stands for celebration. You don’t come to eat this alone but with friends.” This focus extends to the restaurant’s service, emphasizing face recognition and remembering customer’s names, which has resulted in a higher number of return customers.
Branding efforts have clearly paid off, with Carnivore’s total revenue increasing by 61 percent in its last financial year after the opening of two more outlets at MarinaBay and Dempsey.
Following its current success, the group has plans to develop a mass-market line, expected to launch mid-2013. The possibility of starting a catering arm and a few more F&B concepts are also in the pipeline, to keep up with the changing preferences of increasingly affluent Singaporeans.
John says that new concepts also provide an avenue for F&B players to “diversify and tap different market segments as well as enlarge their market share and enhance profitability”. Citing examples of well-known industry players such as the BreadTalk Group, Crystal Jade and the Tung Lok Group, he notes how major F&B companies have taken advantage of their current capabilities to branch into new concepts.
John has further expressed his views on what it takes for a local F&B to achieve growth and success overseas: First, the food has to appeal to a varied range of consumers. Next, timing and opportunity are also crucial factors. “If you are a Singaporean brand that wants to sell Laksa overseas, you probably won’t be a mainstream food unless you’re in Malaysia or Indonesia,” he says.
He also added that “Brazil is one of the BRIC countries. It is going to rise in the long term and with that comes international recognition and soft power,” putting the Starworth group in the “right place at the right time”, with the potential “international appeal” of its cuisine.replica watches replica rolex watches rolex replica watches replica watches uk replica watches cartier replica watches