MULTI AWARD WINNING THAI RESTAURANT SINCE 1986
After 30 years in the business, Tina shares that there are several rules that she lives by. Despite her achievements, Tina says that she is rarely involved with the preparation of the food. “To tell you a secret, I cannot cook at all,”
Tina said. “But I am a great manager, trainer and organizer which I believe is the key to success here. It is my stepfather, my brother in law and the chef we hired over the years that know the cooking side of things.” “It is important to know that you only have one chance to make a good impression and it has to be the best. I want to make my customers feel welcome all the time. If they feel good, they will return,” she said.
“Even if you are the owner of the business, you are there to provide service, and it has to be the best one. You are the owner, but you there to also teach your staff that you are one of the staff.” From napkins on the table to the back kitchen, Tina strictly emphasized that no matter how small the restaurant is, everything in the restaurant must be of high standard, as the customer will feel it.
Nodding her head in agreement, Mandy says that she has heard this personally several times over her own training. “I learn all the time from seeing what and how she does it from working with our team,” she said. “I work with her as a staff and I also got told off by my mother. The key to a business owner is that you need to be able to do everything, from doing the dishes, cleaning toilet, vacuum and mop the floor, before you ask a staff to do it for you. My mother treats every staff like family member, that’s why everyone loves her and respect her.”
For Tina, success, it’s measured by many factors and she keeps her many staff and customers as close friends. The journey has been anything but smooth sailing and having to deal with failures and financial difficulties, she has learnt that family is important as they will always be there to support you. “When we opened the Thai Orchid Hillcrest, we went through some trouble and I had to sit down with the bank credit manager to go through every cent I made,” she said. “Chasing your dream is not only having the love and passion, but it requires ongoing efforts.” Inspired by her mother, Mandy travelled to Switzerland to study Diploma of Hotel Management and Hospitality at Ecole Hotelier de Montreux. She made it her passion to follow her mother’s footstep in carrying her family’s restaurant empire. “Mandy always wanted to follow me to the restaurant and wanted to do some works here,” Tina said. “I wanted her to focus on her study and work hard so that she can pursue her dream career whether or not it was in a restaurant business.”
After returning, Mandy went to work at the Hilton for 6 months and another 3 months with the Conrad Treasury where she gained valuable experience on different areas of running a hospitality business. She then started work at Thai Orchid, Milton where she was responsible for Food and Beverage before extending to private function and event management. Like mother, like daughter, Mandy has also been instrumental in the planning stages for the newest chapter of the Thai Orchid Empire. Hoping to start up a new branch in Newstead, Tina is eager for Mandy to continue the legacy. Despite big shoes to fill, Mandy says that with her mother’s guidance, she has learnt a lot about what it means to be a good hostess. “My mum is very determined and never afraid of an idea to try new things,” Mandy said. “As a successful business woman, I think the key to that is that mum treats all her customers who walk into the restaurant as if everyone is a VIP guest.” Looking at her daughter Iris, Mandy says that there is no pressure for her to follow in the footsteps of both herself and her mother. “I want Iris to be able to do whatever she wants as long as she loves what she does and has fun with it every day,” she said. “Do what you can do best and do it well, then success is just around the corner, that’s what my mother taught me.”