The Jakarta Post
Djakarta Bali Indonesian restaurant in Paris, France. (Instagram.com/djakartabali/File)
Running a restaurant is not an easy task. To have a successful restaurant, restaurateurs need to offer high quality food while also offering innovation.
Owners of diaspora restaurants realized this. During the “We Will Thrive” session at the Wonderful Indonesia Gastronomy Forum Diaspora Restaurants on Friday, five Indonesian restaurateurs who established their business overseas, shared their secrets to success.
Yono, the owner of Yono’s Indonesian fine dining restaurant in Albany, New York, the United States, said in a statement that one needs to have the correct mindset while opening and running a restaurant. For Yono, his mindset encouraged him not to fail the business.
“If I failed or made a mistake, I would learn from that,” he said, adding that restaurateurs also needed to be close to the local community to attract new customers.
Agus Hermawan, the owner of Ron Gastrobar in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, shared that his restaurants had to compete with thousands of eateries, requiring him to come up with various innovations. “The food we serve needs to be different from others, so customers can remember us,” he said.
For Alicia Martiono, the owner of Sendok Garpu restaurant in Brisbane, Australia, consistency is key. She also suggested that aspiring restaurateurs balance product quality with marketing, saying it would be a waste if no one knew about the delicious dishes they served.
Djakarta Bali restaurant owner Nina Hanafi agreed with Alicia. Having been running the restaurant in Paris, France, for 34 years, Nina said she never stopped promoting the eatery to attract new customers while also retaining her loyal patrons. “We keep promoting [the restaurant] through newspapers, social media and even search engine optimization [SEO]. So if you are typing “a romantic restaurant in Paris”, Djakarta Bali restaurant will come up on the top of the list,” she said.
Running an Indonesian restaurant overseas, Nina also said it was important to create an ambiance that reflects Indonesia, not only in terms of taste, but also from a visual perspective.
Nina noted that support from the Indonesian embassy and other Indonesians in the country were also important factors in the success. David Tjoe, the owner of Ubud restaurant in Sydney, Australia, shared a similar view, encouraging all Indonesians abroad to help one another. (jes/kes)