DELEGATE: Tell us more about yourself
I’m an Aussie chef, in case it wasn’t obvious haha. I’ve lived in Hong Kong for 12 years before moving to Singapore for the past 5 years. I used to work at the original Tetsuya in Sydney and many other places as well. I think customers refer to me as fuzzychef, rather than my name cause that’s my Instagram username.
D: How did you get the idea or concept for your business?
Before The Lokal was open, I felt like the café scene in Singapore wasn’t very interesting yet and often served average food. My concept for Lokal was to be a cozy place that is able to serve both good coffee and good comfort food.
Most of the ingredients at The Lokal are made in-house like butter, kaya, jams, sriracha, ketchup, smoked salmon, dry cured bacon and more. I firmly believe it’s worth the effort and that customers can taste the difference when they eat the food at The Lokal.
D: What is your vision/mission for your company?
My mission is to be able to take The Lokal to new heights and for us to be recognized as more than a café.
D: How did you start it? What were some adversities you faced when starting it?
I started The Lokal with other partners but we couldn’t really see eye to eye with regards to the operations and eventually ended up taking over The Lokal completely. Manpower has always been an issue from the beginning. It’s always hard to find good staff and it’s also difficult for the kitchen and service staff to be able to work together as a team. But I think The Lokal has reached a point where we just turned 2 years old and our kitchen and service staff are becoming more than just a team – we’re a family now.
The physical labor and pains of working in F&B, the long hours that we spend up on our feet – serving or cooking. I think everyone in the F&B industry is probably always physically tired.
D: What has been the most memorable experience for you so far in running your business?
I think the most memorable would be The Lokal reaching the 2 year mark and having many familiar industry people like Sam Aisbett, Dave Pynt and Jason Jones at The Lokal’s birthday party and celebrating with my team.
D: How do you define success? Who do you see as successful?
Success is being recognized for what you bring to the table. I’ve always looked up to Dave Pynt from Burnt Ends as my idol. He never fails to elevate his food and take it to the next level. I respect him very much for sticking to what he believes in and watching him grow into the success story that he is now is very inspiring to me.
D: Which habits of yours have gotten you to where you are today?
Consistency. I value consistency and I expect consistency from all of my staff. Every plate that comes out of my kitchen is consistent, every dish that comes out is expected to be of the same consistent standards that I set for The Lokal. I think that’s why customers keep coming back, knowing that they will consistently be served good food.
D: What is one thing you would like your customers to know about your company?
The Lokal is very value-for-money for what we sell, considering that most dishes are made in-house. I think customers will be more appreciative of that fact if they do know about us more.
D: If you could give advice to fellow and budding entrepreneurs, what wold it be?
Stick to what you believe in and don’t give up so easily. I have gone through multiple problems from starting up, to daily operations, to manpower but it gets better, eventually.
Book The Lokal on Delegate today!
D: Where else can we find you online?
Facebook : www.facebook.com/thelokalsingapore
Instagram : @thelokalsingapore