Beneath the glitz and glamour in showbiz very often hides the sweat and toil that goes behind the scenes. What fuses the perseverance is the passion one has inside them.
Robert Chua has often been referred to as a veteran in the HongKong TV business and rubbed shoulders with superstars young, respected and departed. Observing Robert’s social media pages reveals the same persona both onscreen and when one meets him in person. Robert’s warmth and candidness is evident during a short chat with Eliteror.com
According to Robert, running a restaurant is similar as running a TV show. Even though his involvement in TV and F&B was not intentional or planned, Robert shared his experiences on the parallels of both businesses openly. Both are people businesses and Robert loves to make people happy. May I quote ’Their pleasure gives me pleasure.’ What a fine personal statement for those in the F&B arena. Drawing similarities such as prime timeslot vs prime location, TV programs akin to dishes served on menus, Producers are like Chefs, and most important, the transferability of Sight and Sound experiences to Smell and Taste.
Robert looks out for passion, personality and ownership in potential franchisees. Citing Taipei’s franchise success, the business aspect of location also plays an important role. He then shared about the other franchisee arrangements that did not perform as intended. Looking beyond location such as food traffic during the week, parking difficulties and aim to provide simple casual dining, Robert tried to accommodate as much as possible to the local franchisee due to the localized knowledge of the market, to target the sweet spot with good intentions. However he is also quick to cut losses if the franchisee situation does not work out.
Back to the people business element, Robert enjoys mentoring and coaching of young minds. He pointed out that Taiwan’s franchise outlet is the most successful outlet other than the Singapore branch because the young franchisees are passionate, smart, willing to listen and learn, which makes up for the youth and lack of experience. Conflicts are anticipated and Robert maintains the open channel of communication with both franchisee and staff alike, to speak up if something is not right.
What makes Robert so endearing to those with passion is stemmed from his personal experience when he was given a break by the boss of Tim Ho Wan whom he knows personally. Robert was granted franchisee rights against all business odds, cornering out the big F&B brand name companies. For a simple reason, a trust element that both parties knew that the business will be looked after.
Robert is currently looking at family restaurant 聚興家Juxing Home helmed by a solo chef. The challenge to bring this restaurant overseas involves meeting locally recognized chefs, and bring a skillset transfer between the two. Robert also added that personality and ability to work well with other chefs is another crucial element, which cannot be determined by standard operating procedures and skills training.
So what else is next for the TV veteran? Robert’s next project is a foray into data analytics of food consumption of the human brain. This writer is all psyched up to participate in the study (if ever invited).
Congrats to Kam’s Roast latest outlet in the newly crowned Jewel Changi Airport #02-210, which truly reflects the passion and personality of Robert Chua !