Mr. Dillip Rajakarier, Group Chief Executive Officer of Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT) and Acting Chief Executive Officer of Minor Food, said that Minor Food Group is one of the largest restaurant companies in Asia with affiliated well-known restaurant brands including The Pizza Company, Swensen’s, Sizzler, The Coffee Club, Dairy Queen, Burger King and Bonchon, totaling more than 2,200 stores in 26 countries. It covers a wide range of customers, and the company focuses on organizational changes to increase competitiveness in the restaurant industry amidst the changing global economy by building a strong brand, applying digital technology, and improving operations for continual efficiency.
However, Minor Food has accelerated its organizational development by diversifying investments to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Food delivery and takeaway services have increased and become more popular, especially when dining in restaurants was temporarily suspended. Many countries, including Thailand are now able to manage the situation with 95 percent of the Minor Food restaurants in Thailand open, some 1,490 restaurant branches nationwide. Since the reopening, the sales of most brands have gradually improved, and some brands even see higher sales than before the pandemic. However, the company is still focusing on driving sales across all its channels.
For overseas operations, there has been a significant recovery, especially in China where over 90 percent of all restaurant branches have been open since mid-March, with a swift recovery since then. Also, sales have improved weekly, with a return to profit at the store level during May. It is expected that operations in China will recover to the pre-crisis level by the beginning of August.
Mr. Prapat Siangjan, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of Minor Food Group Public Company Limited, said that Minor Food has improved its readiness for operations in the second half of 2020 with the following plans:
– Upgraded delivery service. As the first food delivery company in Thailand, a leader for almost 30 years since 1989, Minor Food will maintain this position by improving its organization using digital technology through the development of online food ordering platforms based on new normal lifestyles, as consumers increasingly rely on digital technology in order to facilitate ordering a variety of foods within a single order. Having its own delivery platform also reduces costs and creates a customer database for the organization, and importantly, the delivery platform is well known and trusted. In the second quarter of 2020, the company saw the delivery sales three times higher than that of all last year.
– Develop new menus to attract consumers through the use of innovating existing products and creating new products such as the development of mango menus, Black Duo, Mango ice cream with black sticky rice or young coconut, which are available at Swensen’s. When combined, these products create excitement for consumers. In addition, the company will use effective marketing channels with creative marketing campaigns to attract customers. The purpose of this plan is to increase the profitability of the company.
– Kiosk model shop is a grab-and-go service that can generate revenue. The shops will be located close to consumers, such as workplaces, BTS, etc. An example of a shop that operates with this model is Sizzler To Go. Kiosk restaurants are located in the business districts of Bangkok, and comes with healthy menu options, such as fresh vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals and containing a source of low-cholesterol protein. In addition to the kiosk model, other stores such as The Coffee Club have also been encouraged to provide the grab-and-go service.
– Development of the “Cloud Kitchen”, a new central kitchen model offering convenient services by adopting the Cloud concept for the restaurant to become a Cloud Kitchen. This platform allows customers to place a food delivery order and receive it faster and fresher from a restaurant branch within a 3-kilometer range, as if there was a chef cooking at home. Customers can also place a single order from different brands to ensure the freshness of the food. In this regard, Minor Food estimates that Cloud Kitchen will help Minor Food’s delivery services to be more comprehensive, especially in the community area.
However, in order to improve the standards of hygiene and safety for both customers and employees during the Covid-19 pandemic, Minor Food has set up a project “Business Beyond COVID” and trained its staff to provide cleaner and more intensive service and always consider safety and hygiene. Food security campaigns also include “Zero Touch Delivery”, “Safety Seal” and “Easy Pick Up” by The Pizza Company or cashless payments when ordering food at Burger King restaurants. Moreover, cleaning equipment and sanitizers which are high-quality cleaning products from ECOLAB and Diversey hygiene experts are used in affiliated restaurants. These products are specially designed for the food service industry, food processing, hospitality and health care work, Mr. Prapat concluded.