Secrets to Success: Andrei Soen, Park Bench Deli


In the third instalment of our Secrets to Success series, we chat to Andrei Soen, creative director of Park Bench Deli. In this series, we ask leading F&B entrepreneurs, chefs and industry leaders their opinion on the key to running a successful and sustainable food business in Singapore.

 

Since 2015, Park Bench Deli has been serving up sandwiches with personality and attitude. Forget your average ham & cheese - these guys create indulgent sammies like an oozy cheese steak topped with caramelised onions, or a crunchy cornflake encrusted PBJ. Founded by chefs Andrei Soen (from The Cajun Kings) and Ming Tan (from Lolla), together with a business partner, Park Bench Deli recently opened a second outlet, 1KS at a co-working space in Keong Saik.

For Soen, running a business is a long-term journey, not an end goal. "One quote that sticks to me is: It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement." Too often restaurants open with huge plans for fast expansion - while the glamorous flurry of new openings looks peachy from the outside, it often leaves management overstretched, and the company with hefty overheads in rentals and staffing leading to disappointment.

Like several of the industry experts we interviewed, Soen also emphasises the importance of nurturing a good team. "Once you create a strong brand that has a purpose, it doesn't just end there. Your business still has so many opportunities for growth and profitability. The most important thing is to invest in the capabilities of individuals who work for you. Be the leader or find a person who will push your team and business to create, innovate and lead."

Click here to read Part 1, with Chris Phillips, culinary operations director of PS. Cafe.

Click here to read Part 2, with Jason Jones, culinary director of the Loco Group.

Note: the professionals & organisations interviewed in this series are not connected to, employed by or affiliated with our company.


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