When did you open 'In Sea' and why?
In Sea opened officially on 11 December 2013, but we had been setting up and were open for business earlier than that. I already owned and ran the King Kitchen high-end appliance store here in Phuket and wanted to help enrich the island further with a unique and high-quality restaurant that adds to the experience of travelling here. In Sea began as an idea to open a seafood buffet that holds freshness and quality as its highest goals.
What were you doing before?
I was living here in Phuket with my family, running the King Kitchen business with my wife, who is also a big part of In Sea. I definitely consider Phuket to be my home.
Where are you from?
My family, that is my parents, originally lived in Phuket. They moved to Bangkok to start business there and I moved back to Phuket to start operations here.
What’s special / different about In Sea?
Well, I think at its core, the idea of a seafood buffet is not actually new, but to have one in this kind of beautiful setting, and with this high level of service and quality is something you rarely see. This is a restaurant where you can enjoy yourself, it is a place you can laugh, relax and really enjoy first-class seafood and other dishes.
Tell us something about your role in the business.
I'm a shareholder and acting Managing Director. We all carry our weight of course and help in the running of In Sea, but its day-to-day operations and oversight is my responsibility.
What are the main challenges as they relate to your role?
Achieving consistency in every area, including quality of the food, changing our buffet items to keep it interesting for return guests, and making sure internal management are running smoothly.
What are the biggest difficulties you have overcome?
When you work with restaurants, everyday is important. So, creating a culture within our staff to realise how important it is to satisfy our guests every single day was a big achievement. Building that momentum was a key goal.
What is your main target market?
Both international and domestic tourists as well as locals. It’s a very broad market.
What's your approach to marketing?
Our marketing has a very broad scope as well, to let everyone know that we exist and what we provide. There's social media which helps spread word of mouth among locals. We try to have key presence in printed media as well, such as billboards and brochures in the hands of people who meet travellers face to face. This is something that we're constantly testing and evolving.
What do you like most about what you do now?
When I spent a lot of time involved with King Kitchen, the focus was very targeted and narrow. The customers needed something specific, but here at In Sea I'm meeting such a variety of people who are here to enjoy a meal rather than talk business. It's been a real pleasure socialising and befriending new people every day.
What do you like least about what you do now?
The traffic jams on the way to and from the restaurant.
What do you hope to achieve within the next 3-5 years?
Great success during which In Sea becomes a well-known and appreciated establishment, which will hopefully give us the opportunity to expand to other locations.
What do you see as your biggest successes to date?
Actually, my biggest success is building a happy and strong family life. I'm very happy that my family – my wife and children – are very close and important to each other.
To what extent does the recession in Europe affect your business?
Right now, it doesn’t affect In Sea to a great extent because we're still seeing significant tourist arrivals here in Phuket, and I feel that overall the standards of people who live on the island are rising. This may change, but right now I don’t think we're affected much at all. Is In Sea involved in any CSR programmes? Yes. Since the beginning we have planned to donate 1% of our quarterly profits to a charity of our choice. We feel that to best honour the spirit of our location here in Chalong, which means to celebrate, you have to give back to the community and share in your success.
Please give us an overview of your typical day at work.
I arrive at the restaurant around 9:00am and start my day with a coffee. Then, I hold small meetings with my kitchen team and service staff. Then I oversee the setting up of the buffet and greet and speak with customers as they arrive and enjoy their meal. From there, things come up all the time and I tackle them when needed. This goes on until the restaurant closes around 11:00, depending on the number and mood of the customers. We are flexible.
What is your over-riding ambition at this stage in life?
To make In Sea the success that I and my partners believe it can be. Then to expand from there.
For further information about IN SEA Seafood Buffet
+66 76 540 918, +66 91 035 5616.