Friday, June 21, 2013

Background - Grandma's at NEX

Interview with Grandma's General Manager Mr Daniel Ong (above) 

Ownership : The Akashi Group of Restaurants developed and own the trademark for Grandma's, and currently operates four Grandma's outlets in Singapore. The company has plans to expand through franchising Grandma's. 

Apart from Grandma's, Akashi Group of Restaurants also owns and operates several brands : 1.  Akashi (3 outlets at Orchard Parade Hotel,  The Paragon, Vivocity)
2.  Akashabu (Leisure Park Kallang) 
3.  Akanoya Robatayaki (Orchard Parade Hotel)

Brothers Don Goh, 50, Sam Goh 52 and Mervin Goh, 41, are the three partners in the holding company, and bring with them a total of about 30 to 40 years of Food and Beverage Industry experience. They are first and foremost Sushi Chef Owners who has turned restaurateurs. Don and Sam Goh used to work as Sushi Chefs in renowned Japanese restaurants in Singapore such as Unkai at former ANA Hotel, Keyaki at Pan Pacific Singapore. Then in 1995, the three brothers team up to form the Akashi Group of Restaurants, operating the very first Akashi outlet at the basement of Tanglin Shopping Center. Over the years the group grew to expand the food business empire to include not only Japanese restaurants serving authentic Japanese Cuisine (Akashi, Akashabu, Akanoya Robatayaki) but also restaurants serving Asian Cuisine (Grandma's), and Fine Dining restaurant serving Western Cuisine (The SteakHouse slated to open in Aug 2013).

Origins : Grandma's started with its first outlet at Orchard Parade, and expanded into NEX, Paragon, Raffles City, (the Orchard Parade outlet later moved to ) Changi City Point. Its fifth outlet is slated to open at Suntec City in August 2013. 

The target is to open new Grandma's outlet bearing different concepts, such as Express or Bistro kiosks, Plans are already in process to offer iPad ordering for future outlets in its effort to streamline operations as well as to leverage on technology to improve the overall customer dining experience. 

Positioning : Grandma's is positioned as a causal dining restaurant. 

Management and Operations : General Manager Mr Daniel Ong brings with him more than 12 years of Food and Beverage experience, having worked for Delifrance for 7 years, and later left to join Akashi Group of Restaurants as its General Manager 6 years ago. 

Why Grandma's : The Chef owners sees there is a market demand for Asian, Malaysian, Chinese Cuisine in Singapore. 

Apart from the brand Grandma's, the Chef owners are set to spin off a fine dining restaurant concept that they had developed at Suntec City - The Steakhouse (staffed with Chefs from Japan) set to open in July / Aug 2013. 

Expansion plans for Grandma's - there are plans to open several more outlets, the company is on the waiting list of new malls, such as those in AMK, Jurong Point, Bishan with plans to operate the brand with a different concept.

Menu Planning - GM Daniel Ong and the Chefs are responsible for menu planning at Grandma's. Every 6 months, new items are added. To date there are 30 to 40 items on the menu. 

Training of Kitchen Staff : There are total 6 kitchen staff at each outlet. The training is done in-house at the company level. Most of the Chefs are Malaysians or Singaporean, and had grown professionally with the company, most are with The Akashi Group of Restaurants for average 3 to 4 years.  

Central Kitchen : The central kitchen at Kaki Bukit handles daily preparation of marinates, sauces, rempahs and pastes used to cook the items on the menu. The recipes are developed in-house. 

Food Ingredients : They are sourced both overseas & locally. Some spice are purchased from the Group's overseas contact. Fresh meat & chicken used are delivered by vendors daily to the outlet. Food items are prepared ala minute, except for beef rendang which has to be stewed for hours. 

Grandma's USP : uses authentic, fresh ingredients of high quality, good grade, the company does not compromise on quality. 

Ordering at outlets : At Grandma's the diners places order using hand written ordering sheet, the wait staff then inputs the order into the outlet's system, then  printout the receipt and sends it to kitchen to process the order. 

Payment : Grandma's operates on a payment after dining concept.

Catering Services : Grandma's has a  catering menu at $16 per head, minimum 30 pax. For Catering Menu, please go to

Booking of venue : Available for private events, but on weekday basis only. 

Take-away services : Available, but  customer must self collect their order.

Delivery service vendors : Grandma's does not work with any delivery service vendors 

Promotion Programs : There is no ongoing deals with any banks or online websites now. 

Loyalty programs  : Grandma's used to have loyalty programs, but not available now due to poor response.

Merchandise sold at store  : Not available now 

Target market : Families, Shoppers 

Seating Capacity at NEX: 100 pax indoors , no al fresco seating.

Signature Dishes : 
Nasi Lemak, 

Nasi Bukhari, 

Char Keow Teow, 

Curry Chicken, 

Beef Rendang, 

Claypot Assam Fishhead

Not halal, no pork no lard. 

Grandma's is located at : 
23 Serangoon Central 
#B1-15, NEX, S(556083)
Tel : 6634 8949
Business hours : 11.30 am to 10.00 pm

River JOrdan and JOrdan being groovy on the disco floor !

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