Journey of Te Bak Kia Roasted
After earning a Diploma in Automation and Mechatronics Systems from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2013. Mr Chong Jin Yuan, the owner of Te Bak Kia Roasted began his journey by learning from three different masters who specialised in different dishes in order to hone his skills and cooking techniques.
After years of apprenticeship, he finally opened his own hawker stalls in 2020, selling roasted meat dishes and a traditional Teochew dish, braised pork’s face.
Please tell us more about your story.
I have always wanted to start a food and beverage company of my own. I have been helping out at my father’s butchery back when I was still in Ngee Ann Polytechnic. Finally, in 2013, I earned a Diploma in Automation and Mechatronics Systems.
My ambition to open my own F&B shop, on the other hand, has not faded, and I spend my free time in the library during my diploma years reading a variety of cook books.
My father is a fantastic chef, and we both think how amazing it would be if his recipes were presented to others to enjoy. As a result, we made the decision to begin selling roasted meat.
It is one of my all-time favourite foods, and I can eat it for the rest of my life.
However, that is not the only dish on our menu.
Te Bak Kia Roasted also serve other dishes, such as braised pig’s face, a popular traditional Teochew dish that is gradually fading. And so more and more customers discovered our stall and the dishes we sell thanks to social media marketing.
Since the braised pig’s face dish is popular among older customers, many of them came to our stall specifically to try it.
Please share the most memorable challenge when you first started, and how do you overcome it?
When our customers have questions about our menu, that is. Many of them are curious about the roasted meat we served and why it differs from what they have had at other restaurants.
As a result, we clarified to each of them why our roasted meat tastes different from others. It’s largely due to the fact that we don’t scrimp and save on purchasing and using high-quality ingredients, as well as skipping steps during the preparation process.
From the moment we purchase the ingredients to the moment we serve it to our Te Bak Kia Roasted customers, we pay close attention to every aspect.
Who is your primary audience, and how do you reach them?
Our primary audience would be people who work around our stall, Ayer Rajah Food Centre. Moreover, we would regularly update our google map location as we believe it is crucial for potential customers to locate us.
After all, our stall is quite hard and inconvenient for many people to locate.
What motivated you to create Instagram for your business?
The reason is very simple. We wanted to connect with our regular customers and potential customers looking through their social media looking for roasted meat stalls.
With an official Facebook page and Instagram account, we are able to advertise on it as well as attracting customers to visit our stall.
In addition, we often update our operating hours and off-days through our social media pages too. As we truly believe that such platforms are effective and crucial for customers when they are looking for information online about a business.
Plus, we wouldn’t want to disappoint our customers too if they were to visit during our off-days. So we believe in constantly updating our business status.
What has been the most exciting part of your journey after digitalizing your business?
Definitely the fact that our sales have improved, and our brand Te Bak Kia Roasted is more well-known to the general public. Since digitising our business allows us to reach a broader audience.
What does your typical workday look like? How do you keep yourself productive?
My day begins very early in the morning, about 3 a.m. Other preparations, such as marinating meats, had already been completed the day before. As a result, I would begin roasting the meat in the morning because it takes the longest, up to 5 hours.
Many people may think I am exaggerating, but we genuinely appreciate delivering quality food to our customers, so each process takes time because we are diligent in every step.
Aside from that, we only use high-quality ingredients, such as Thai home mali rice, which has a better taste and texture than normal rice. It also goes well with our roasted meat dish, so it improves the overall experience for our customers.
What are the thing/s that you wish someone told you earlier when starting your business?
It will be to do more research on the area’s location and demographics before settling down. It has an impact on the types of food people seek as well as the types of food hawkers sell in the area.
Share Your Story with Exabytes
Thank you, Jin yuan, for your valuable input and participation in the Exabytes Success Story Campaign! If you, your friends and your family also have a project or a good startup story to share with the world, don’t wait, get in touch with us!