Secret Recipe, a lifestyle cafe chain has become a household name

A prima and largest cafe concatenation in Malaysia, with Halal enfranchisement awarded by Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia ( JAKIM ) , Secret Recipe is committed to go on to adhere to the criterions of readying of all nutrient in the eating house in conformity to the regulative guidelines. Customers can ever bask in assurance from more than 20 types of merger nutrient, 40 bar creative activities and pastries, with a flavorful scope of ice pick and drinks offered in all Secret Recipe mercantile establishments.

The company has registered an impressive double-digit growing for the past 5 old ages. In a short period of 10 old ages, Secret Recipe has experienced a rapid growing of over 150 coffeehouses throughout the part. Secret Recipe continuously strives to excel its ain achievements and to be recognized as a leader in the industry.

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MALAYSIA ‘S homegrown franchise, Secret Recipe has 150 mercantile establishments, owned by the company or its franchisees, in Malaysia and another 41 in Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and China.

Plans are under manner to spread out to Pakistan, India, Vietnam and the Middle East, and farther perforate the billowing market in China. While the company is emulating its proved franchise theoretical account in other states, it will take its Chinese venture on its ain pace.

Due to the complexness of China ‘s civilization and market, Secret Recipe Cakes & A ; Cafe Sdn Bhd main executive officer Datuk Steven Sim says that the company is coming up with a different scheme to undertake the alone Chinese market.

Sim coppices aside the impression that it ‘s “ easy money ” in a state with a population of 1.3 billion. It still requires much idea, planning and difficult work.

In an interview at Secret Recipe ‘s central office in Petaling Jaya, the CEO elaborates on its Chinese operations and hungriness for more mercantile establishments overseas.

BizWeek: Since Secret Recipe was established in 1997, what has been the company ‘s biggest betterment in footings of operations and direction?

Sim: Franchising is our platform to turn the concern. Everyday we receive about 10 franchise petitions. We took about three old ages to construct the foundation. In 2000, the franchise was merely unfastened to my close friends and relations because we wanted to do certain the concern did n’t fall into the incorrect franchisees. It took us another twelvemonth before we started to open up to other people.

Is it needfully harder that as you grow bigger, it is tougher to pull off?

When we grow bigger, we can concentrate and delegate person to make a specific occupation. When we grow internationally, we decidedly need to put in people. We train and groom them ( franchisees ‘ staff ) and spend a batch of money in R & A ; D. When we grow outside the state, we besides need to accommodate.

What is your concern theoretical account in China?

Presently, in China, we are runing 100 % ourselves. We started off in Shanghai because we were invited by Carrefour to open our mercantile establishment at its hypermarket at that place. We thought that it would be a really good stepping rock to prove the market. Obviously, China is n’t every bit simple as everybody thinks… it ‘s a really hard market. We set up a centralized fabrication installation in Suzhou ( Jiangsu state ) before opening our mercantile establishments in Shanghai. We have a 22,000 sq foot mill catering for our growing in China.

How much did the company invest in the works?

We invested US $ 1mil in the mill and another US $ 1mil in the mercantile establishments. The response has been really encouraging. When we foremost established in Shanghai ( in 2007 ) , about none of the locals knew about Secret Recipe, except for Malaysians and South-East Asians shacking at that place. Over the twelvemonth, we have changed our bill of fare to provide to the local gustatory sensation. This twelvemonth, we are looking into a bigger program to spread out the concern through franchising.

How many mercantile establishments do you hold in Shanghai?

We have three mercantile establishments in Shanghai. Two in Carrefour and another in Ocean Tower. They are really little mercantile establishments but although the mercantile establishments are little, the productiveness is higher than most of the mercantile establishments in Malaysia.

Are rental rates comfy for the company?

So far, the lease is good. If you chose a premier location, so the lease will be at least dual that of what you pay in a premier location in KL. We have a good rental trade with Carrefour.

Is the franchise direction used in other states different from that in China?

China is different from the remainder of the six states in SEA we have ventured into. When we went to China, we learned a batch about the local civilization. When you set up a concern in a Chinese metropolis, it ‘s like a different state. Shanghai can non stand for the full China and you can non standardize the whole China. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou are still okay in footings of life style and trade name consciousness, but compared with possibly a smaller state, things have to be somewhat toned down.

Is the concern in China doing net incomes?

Of class, we are non in the place to do net incomes now. But, one time we start franchising in China, we can reimburse our investing.

How does the company keep its competitory border?

Simple ; every bit long as you have a system, when you go abroad, you replicate what you do here. That ‘s how we maintain the consistence of our merchandises. We use Malaysia as the R & A ; D land where our merchandise development is done before being brought to other states.

It ‘s reported that the company ‘s gross was RM70mil in 2005 and RM90mil in 2006. In 2007, it was expected to be RM100mil. How about this twelvemonth?

We have already surpassed our RM100mil mark last twelvemonth… about RM110mil. Owing to our abroad enlargement, we hope to increase turnover by RM20mil ( this twelvemonth ) .

How strong is the demand to spread out globally?

Very, really strong. We have questions throughout the Earth even every bit far as Kenya, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, the US, India and the Middle East. A batch of people have already known Malaysia for assorted grounds. Peoples feel that what we ‘ve created at Secret Recipe is alone. The abroad enlargement so far has proven successful and we feel that there ‘s a really good potency for Secret Recipe to turn internationally.

Is there a quota in the figure of mercantile establishments that you can open, state in Malaysia?

It ‘s about demand and supply. We will be careful with the mercantile establishment ‘s location as we do n’t desire to make unneeded competition between ourselves and our franchisees. We conduct a selling study on the demand of our service and merchandise and possible growing in that country. Our mark in Malaysia is 200 mercantile establishments by following twelvemonth


At Secret Recipe, we continuously strive to excel our ain committednesss, and to be recognized as a leader in our industry. The doctrine of practising quality and high criterions is the extreme of import trade name value at Secret Recipe. Our rule remains the same in giving the best satisfaction to our valued clients.


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