Founded in 2000, BreadTalk first got popular with their original pork floss buns. They were an innovative game-changer in the bakery industry in Singapore with their unique flavours and names of their buns. The brand has won numerous awards and has been becoming more well-known with both local and international customers. Their founder, George Quek, was very ambitious with their expansion strategies and it paid off extremely well.
Their Founder and the Breadtalk Group
With at least 20 years of experience in working overseas, George Quek is well-equipped with the skills to build brands overseas. Since he also had experience doing business in China, he boldly entered the market without securing a partner. (Source: Asia One)
Besides Breadtalk, their founder formed the Breadtalk group which consists of other proprietary brands including the award-winning Toast Box, Bread Society, Food Republic and The Icing Room; as well as Food Opera, Thye Moh Chan and Sō. In addition, they also manage the Din Tai Fung restaurants from Taiwan and Song Fa Bak Kut Teh brand which won multiple awards over the years. The group has a global staff strength of 7,000 and is well positioned to deliver the best F&B experience to their customers. (Source: Breadtalk)
In 2012, the BreadTalk Group had revenues which increased by 22.3% over the previous year and with 609 bakery outlets, 47 food atria, and 30 restaurants across 15 countries. Just within 12 years, BreadTalk became a premier lifestyle bakery brand in Southeast Asia, China, and the Middle East.
During their first year of operations, the company had received over 1,000 franchising inquiries from firms in Singapore as well as other Southeast Asian countries.
After 3 years, BreadTalk opened its first overseas outlet in Jakarta, Indonesia. Their first overseas bakery did very well with monthly sales touching SGD$300,000, higher than the revenue per store in Singapore.
Later that same year, Breadtalk opened its first outlet in Shanghai, China too. Their unique selling point with their fresh breads, appealing product range, and localised flavours resulting in them receiving the award for the top three best performing tenants in Shanghai’s prestigious Raffles City.
The company consistently launched new range of products every six months in line with seasonal trends, social events, and festivals. For example, BreadTalk outlets sold panda-shaped products to raise funds for the victims of the Sichuan earthquake and rocket-shaped products to celebrate China’s first astronaut in space.
As their international outlets continue to thrive, BreadTalk expanded with 3 new bakery brands – Toast Box, Thye Moh Chan, and Bread Society. This new bakery segment contributed to more than 50% of the BreadTalk Group’s revenue. BreadTalk had transformed a Singapore humble bakery business into an international lifestyle concept. Their culture of constantly engaging with customers while understanding their requirements and developing creative products with a blend of Asian and European flavours also contributed to their success. (Source: Singapore Business Review)
Sticking to the Singapore roots
The company places strong emphasis on having a strong core of Singaporeans because they identify themselves as a Singaporean company selling local cuisine in Singapore and beyond.
In an interview, George Quek said, “Fundamentally, it is about bringing the Singaporean identity and cuisine over to foreign shores. So regardless of how wide we might expand our operations, having a strong Singaporean core helps us realise our potential and ensure our brand’s longevity.”
Due to his willingness to grow as a brand and put Singaporeans at the core of its operations, the BreadTalk Group was a recognised Human Capital Partner as part of the Human Capital Partnership programme (HCP).
The HCP was launched in 2016 by the Minister for Manpower Mr Lim Swee Say. It recognises employers in Singapore who are committed to growing their businesses and staying competitive by having progressive employment practices while developing their human capital. (Source: Population)
Even with fierce competition and increasing consumer demands for more variations of new flavours, Breadtalk has expanded to 950 outlets in 17 countries including Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Myanmar.
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