AFTER the grand opening of its first outlet in Myanmar on Saturday, BreadTalk, an Asian boutique bakery chain, expects soon to be serving nearly 300,000 customers in this country every year.
Su Myat Noe, marketing manager of BreadTalk Myanmar, said in an exclusive interview that the bakery served more than 20,000 customers in one month after its soft launch on March 25. She expects to welcome more customers in the months to come.
“We have received a positive response from the public and we are appreciative to see queues of customers daily,” she said.
Su Myat Noe said 70 per cent of the customers were local, while expatriates accounted for the remaining 30 per cent. She believes all of these customers will be happy to visit the outlet again, thanks to delicious products, good service and an attractive decor.
“We are confident of our quality, taste and aroma. Our open-kitchen concept sets us apart from other bakeries in this country. It allows customers easily to view the entire baking process from raw ingredients to freshly baked products all day long so that they have no doubt about cleanliness and our chefs’ skills,” she said.
The outlet at Junction City shopping mall in downtown Yangon can accommodate around 120 people. It offers more than 100 types of fresh bread and cakes, with the prices ranging from 800 to 27,800 kyats (Bt20-Bt700).
Su Myat Noe said low-cost items were the best sellers at this point, while demand for more expensive cakes was on the rise. A large number of its customers are fond of trying Flosss, which is the signature product of BreadTalk.
Most of the company’s key ingredients are imported, including milled flour from Japan and pure butter from New Zealand. The firm says it ensures enough supply of the ingredients including eggs as well as food safety.
“We provide a multi-sensory experience to help customers feel the freshness, from the aroma you smell when you enter Junction City or walk past our outlet, to the way our breads and cakes are presented, which encourages the appetite,” Su Myat Noe said.
She said the bakery took affordability into serious consideration, while it maintained the same high quality as in the chain’s nearly 800 outlets across key markets such as Singapore, mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand and the Middle East.
“The price of our foods may be a bit different from that of our outlets in other countries, as it largely depends on production and operating costs. But we will ensure affordable prices with the best quality. Inventory control is also critical to our plan ahead,” she said.
Myanmar became the 17th territory where the chain opened an outlet. There, BreadTalk is operated by Myanmar Bakery Co, a member of Shwe Taung Group. It currently has a team of more than 40 staff, half of whom are skilled chefs. Its country head is the only expatriate in the team.
Su Myat Noe said the company prepared for nine months before the soft opening of the outlet. Twenty of its staff were intensively trained by industry experts in Singapore for three months to ensure they could provide the best service in the new market. “We do have a plan for expansion. But at this point, we will focus on our first outlet while we look at opportunities to open more outlets in other parts of Yangon. As we grow further, we may expand to other cities including Mandalay,” she said.