In the last part of our six part Secrets to Success series on running a sustainable food & beverage business in Singapore, Norman Hartono of the Tunglok group shares his views.
In a country where the average F&B lease term is 2 years, it's impressive (and inspiring) to see a business that has been around since 1980. Tung Lok, a restaurant group known for Chinese cuisine was founded by Norman Hartono's grandfather, whose first restaurant Charming Garden operated for 26 years. Despite its established nature, the group still continues to develop new restaurants, menus and dining experiences.
According to Hartono, innovation backed by thorough research is important when running an F&B business. "I believe the key is constant innovation and development in menu and concept. Always do your research homework when developing a menu and concept to make sure they come together seamlessly."
Hartono puts his money where his mouth is by creating new concepts for the group. His first venture Dancing Crab is a Louisiana style seafood restaurant that many would be surprised to find as part of the portfolio of a company traditionally focussed on Asian cuisine. More recently, he's given Chinese dining a cheeky, modern twist with Lokkee. His newest project is Dragon Chamber, a new hidden wing of Lokkee with a speakeasy vibe and secret menu.