Need of professional Suggestion/Warning to open my first restaurant! :D

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by abe kurnia, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. abe kurnia

    abe kurnia

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    Hi everyone,

    My name is Abe Kurnia. I am Indonesian who is currently working as Head Cook in Cincy. Its been three years now. Before I worked as Assistant cook in Indiana for a year.

    But next year ( I am hoping nearly by the end of next year), I and my fiance am hoping to open my own first restaurant in my home country. The basic idea of my restaurant will be Home Cooking-style of American cooking-type of restaurant.

    Realizing how little of my knowledge and experience, I am in A HUGE need of suggestion/warning or anything that others can offer to me. Literally, anything! Regardless of whether it's suggestion/warning about technical issue, cooking style or tech, mental prep, financial, man management, etc! Thank you everyone!
     
  2. someday

    someday

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    You want us to talk you out of opening a restaurant? 

    Why do you think this type of restaurant/food will succeed in Indonesia? 
     
  3. hookedcook

    hookedcook Banned

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    Where in Indo?  I spent a month in Bali and the Gili Islands.  The best way to make it, is in a popular tourist town with Westerners that spend money on Vacation.  It might be hard with the local population because they are used to their flavors they grew up with.  Not to mention you can get a local plate of food for 1-3 usd.  Look for sports that draws certain tourists to certain towns or regions.  Diving, surfing, kiteboarding, wild life or eco lodges, ect.  Do your research. Go where the money and tourism is and cater to them if you want to make it. 

    I'm currently visiting a small town in Northern Brazil named Cucumbo.  In the last 10 years it has taken off because its one of the best kiteboarding spots in the world.  Now there are hotels, hostels, restaurants, rental cars, tour agencies, ect where 10 years ago it was a fishing town.  People travel from all over the world to kite here and spend serious money.  There are lots of examples like this town all around the world.  Good luck
     
  4. luis de vence

    luis de vence

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    Make sure you aren't starting a market that won't sell in your country. American style food? I wont travel to Indonesia to eat American food, honestly. 

    I had a similar occasion when I traveled to a small town in Colombia and opened a restaurant with international cuisine. It didn't launch well, I was naive to think that people from a small town would like to eat food they never even heard of. They preferred their regional cuisine and small fried hot dogs and hamburgers and crap like that. In the end I had to modify my menu to somewhat fit with the local appetite.

    long story short, know the people, know the food, don't reinvent the wheel. Put your spin on American style food but with indonesian flavors?
     
  5. seabeecook

    seabeecook

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    The other option is to locate in one of the larger cities where the local population may be more open to international fare. You may also have more business travelers and tourists that would enjoy a "home" meal. The down side will be higher operating costs. Just a thought ...
     
  6. abe kurnia

    abe kurnia

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    Well, first of all, right now American food is trending in Indonesia. Somehow, fast food franchise that imitate American food brands are so booming. It might be up there with Korean food and Japanese food. I know it is sad knowing that my people abandon our own culture food, but thats the reason.

    Secondly, I have traveled in many states here in US during my four years. I have quite bit of food and culture experience that I want to use as the base of my restaurant branding. Somehow, interestingly, some of the restaurant that I know in Indonesia, become popular just because the cook/chef is from/associated with the culture of the food, for example, there is a Japanese food that become popular bcz the cook had been working as chef in Japan for few years.

    I know it sounds like I keep looking at other people's garden and try to copycat them, but really, I love traditional American food, especially the southern and soul food. What do you think, chef?
     
  7. abe kurnia

    abe kurnia

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     Its gonna be in Solo, a city where our current President came from. Now it becomes one of the fastest city in growth, whether its population or popularity.

    And it is known also as a culinary city where there are so many food counter, restaurants, cafe and bar that using an international theme such as Korean, Japanese, American, and the latest one now is Mediterranian
     
  8. abe kurnia

    abe kurnia

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    My market target is my own people, chef. The indonesian. They seem to grow tired of their own food and take pride when they are able to buy food in McDonald and Starbucks, stuff like that. Yes, it is sad. Very sad,

    About the idea of doing fusion between American and Indonesian, to be honest, I am little bit scared. The two have a very different approach of taste and cooking style. I might will have to do a lot of research and experiment before I really go for it. What do you think chef?
     
  9. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I'd eat there just to see what American food is. ;)
     
  10. abe kurnia

    abe kurnia

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    You do? :D

    Indeed, I am planning on using the curiosity factor to attract people, give my best shot at them and try to keep them coming. What other factor you think that could play role in it other than curiosity factor and of course, the food itself?
     
  11. phaedrus

    phaedrus

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    I'm being semi-facetious.  I'm not sure there really is any such thing as "American style food".  I suppose you could make a good case that BBQ is an American invention or at least came to its full flowing in the US.  But aside from that what would you call American?   Fast food?  Modern pizza?  Certain southern foods are kind of iconic but not really unique.  Cajun/creole cooking is perhaps now fully differentiated from its early influences.  To me American food is just a mishmash of recipes and techniques borrowed from our parent countries (eg France, England, Germany).
     
  12. hookedcook

    hookedcook Banned

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    Looked up solo.  So not much tourism.  In the end of the day you need to decide and think if there's a market for what you are thinking with the people and demographics that you know.  Probably 99% of the people on this forum have never been to Indo.  Luis made a good point.  It will probably work out really well or really bad.  Nothing in between.  All I can say is don't sink your life savings into it.  Start small,  if your successful, find a bigger place and take your customers with you.  Think and build a cool name and brand for your restaurant. Make it bright and clean.

     Have generalized items off the start that people will not be afraid to order because they have never heard of it or have no idea what it is.  Can't imagine to many people in Solo ordering chicken fried chicken with collared greens!  What's going to be difficult is the cost.  In general Indo/ SE Asia/ Philippine food is mostly fillers with rice and pasta with little meat and vegetables.  American food usually consists of a big protein, a starch and a vegetable.  And sandwiches or burgers have a lot of meat in them which is expensive.  So you face the dilemma of charging more.  From my experience traveling around Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines and South Pacific for 2 years.  Locals eat at cheap at good places that they can afford.  Tourists eat at restaurants that serve western food that costs more money.  I've been traveling around Mexico and South America for the last 4 months now.  90% of the places I eat are local holes in the wall and I'm the only gringo there.  As I chef I prefer real food and it costs 1/4 of any tourist restaurant.  On a side not it's crazy the amount of earthquakes there!  Over 500 last year in Indo!!!!!