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Whereas many F&B companies stated goodbye to followers in 2020, VCR launched 2 new spin-off institutions along with their 2 current cafes.
Cantina by VCR was launched in February 2020 whereas VCR Stacks began in October 2020. Cantina is situated in Bukit Bintang (within the YTL Constructing) whereas Stacks is in Mont Kiara.
Now, it’s plain that VCR’s fame as a restaurant has helped them get to the place they’re right this moment. Anytime I go by the Jalan Galloway and Bangsar branches on weekends, I’d see teams of millennials flock round their institutions with out fail.
However in fact, fame alone shouldn’t be sufficient to maintain any enterprise afloat, not to mention open up new branches. So we interviewed Andrew Lee, founder and proprietor of VCR, to learn how their cafes have been capable of survive and develop throughout MCO.
YTL Needed To Carry VCR Nearer To Themselves
Cantina’s menu is made up of largely Asian fusion meals whereas Stacks’ is sandwiches, a barely totally different take from the Western cafe meals they serve of their 2 VCR shops.
“Cantina was set in movement when YTL had approached us for the challenge again in 2019 with mutually-favourable phrases,” Andrew shared with Vulcan Publish.
The Cantina outlet and crew / Picture Credit score: VCR
Because it launched not lengthy earlier than the primary MCO commenced within the nation, Cantina had a sluggish begin. The YTL constructing had solely 20% occupancy because the workplace was newly constructed and the totally different departments have been sluggish to relocate to the brand new HQ.
Catering Asian fusion delicacies to YTL workers / Picture Credit score: VCR
Nevertheless, issues didn’t get a lot better when the second wave of MCO hit. Although the constructing is 80% occupied now, staff are again to WFH once more, so that they’ll have to attend a bit longer earlier than issues can flip round quickly.
On common, Cantina earns 5 figures per 30 days however hasn’t damaged even but. That being stated, Andrew defined that Cantina is a personal cafe for the YTL HQ, therefore it’ll have its limits in the case of income progress.
Stacks Is Getting That Bread For The Crew
Stacks, their sandwich store, was a call they hopped on once they discovered a strategic emptiness in Shoplex, Solaris Mont Kiara.
Thankfully, Andrew stated Stacks boomed the occasion they launched, and their premises managed to hit most capability inside per week even with none bulletins on their finish.
“Lots of the primary guests have been our regulars from different shops, who have been excited that we’d arrange a brand new place of their neighbourhood,” he stated.
Stacks’ Return on Investments (ROI) was already on monitor earlier than MCO 2.zero began. Their gross sales pattern has additionally been constant and the crew hopes that it’ll solely go upwards once they’re able to function in two shifts and launch their very own supply programme.
Sandwich stacks / Picture Credit score: VCR
They managed to hit six figures a month’s income throughout their peak, which occurred of their second month of operations. Andrew shared that Stacks’ income are most certainly going to again up their high administration and operations groups’ bills.
One of many main the explanation why Stacks was ready to take action nicely despite MCO was additionally as a result of sandwiches have been extra delivery-friendly, they realised.
They Weren’t Too Affected By The Pandemic
“To be trustworthy, for the reason that begin of those two new cafes, it’s nearly like we weren’t affected in any respect,” Andrew admitted. They’ve managed to keep away from losses throughout all their shops for the reason that begin of the primary MCO.
Cantina and Stacks are run by a mixture of their current VCR groups and several other new hires. Allocating lots of their senior crew members to those two new locations was how they have been capable of keep away from any main hiccups, Andrew shared with Vulcan Publish.
One hiccup that did occur although was their underestimation of the response they might obtain from Stacks.
“We have been unable to satisfy the capability demanded, therefore we needed to signal a lease with an reverse retail lot to develop our operations and storage,” Andrew shared.
That reverse lot will quickly be VCR Bakehouse to deal with their baked items and hopefully turn out to be an all-day bistro within the close to future.
Catering To The Native Palate Now That Vacationers Can No Longer Frequent Their Cafe
“At first, it labored out nicely for us to cater to a distinct segment market of Western meals, as we had many vacationers and expats to cater to,” Andrew stated.
Sadly, with MCO in place, there are now not as many of those vacationers and expats eating with them, so that they knew they needed to begin curating a menu for the native scene as a substitute.
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Earlier than the pandemic struck, additionally they relied primarily on natural advertising and marketing by means of word-of-mouth and buyer opinions which helped maintain their enterprise afloat.
Maintaining what they’re recognized for even within the new shops / Picture Credit score: VCR
“That, nevertheless, can solely accomplish that a lot at occasions like these, so we’d need to ramp up on-line advertising and marketing on our personal as a substitute,” Andrew stated. They’re specializing in constructing a web based store too.
“We wished to make sure we had the most effective shippable merchandise and a variety of products earlier than we put effort into it first. However now it’s pressing, we now have to cowl some floor misplaced to the pandemic, we’ll need to gear up on this section now.”
From Andrew’s sharing, it definitely looks like the loyal fanbase VCR has constructed to this point performed a task within the success of Stacks particularly, whereas YTL’s help helped Cantina.
However these have been simply alternatives, and it was nonetheless because of the crew’s fast methods and decision-making that the plans got here to life. As Andrew confirmed, having a strong administration crew located in each new shops helped too.
You may study extra about Cantina right here and Stacks right here.You may learn extra cafe-related articles we’ve written right here.
Featured Picture Credit score: Andrew Lee, founder and proprietor of VCR