Feature Story – Ideal Cafe & Grill

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Photography by Riley Khoo

Starting a successful family business can be one of the most difficult endeavours. Keeping that business successful over the generations is even more challenging. With over 40 years and two generations of “farm-fresh grilled chicken” perfection to its name, “Ideal” is truly a Bruneian institution. A pioneer in retail take-out food, Ideal was the first in Brunei to offer halal grilled chicken to the local market in 1996. Since then, the company which still remains family-owned and operated, has managed to grow from strength to strength. Today, not only do they own and operate their own Ideal Multifeed Farm (Brunei) Sdn BHd, Ideal Hatchery (B) Sdn Bhd, Ideal Feed Mills Sdn Bhd,Ideal Marketing (B) Sdn BHd and Ideal Pharma & Construction Sdn Bhd businesses; but they also have five branches of Ideal Café & Grill and Ideal Meat Processing Plant. To find out more about their strategies of endurance we spoke to Hajah Norizmah binti Hj Awg Ahmad Morshidi, General Manager at Ideal Food Industries Sdn Bhd.

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Original Grilled Chicken
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Nasi Lemak // Photo courtesy of Ideal Cafe & Grill

Visibility, communication and consistency are the cornerstones of our business

When I first started in the business, to help my father and my family, I was determined to learn about all the job functions within the company. So I did everything from kitchen duties to serving customers at the counter. For me, this hands-on approach was very important because it gave me the opportunity to get to know the employees so that I could better relate to their problems and issues. I believe that this has helped me to build a stronger relationship with my employees – of which 70% are local. Some of our staff members have been with us for over 15 years. I understand the local mindset and treat my staff like part of my family – I talk with them and always try my best to help them sort out any problems – this gives them a sense of belonging and encourages them to do their best at work. I firmly believe in leading by example, so I visit each of the five branches of Ideal Café & Grill every week to make sure that procedures are being followed and that my staff are providing efficient service. While I’m there I help out in the kitchen or at the counter if necessary. At Ideal it is extremely important for us to maintain consistency in the taste of our products and dishes, as well as in our service – as this is what helps to build brand loyalty among customers. We also have our own team of people at Ideal who are dedicated to handling quality control and this further ensures that our products are of the highest standards.

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Chicken Spaghetti
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Chicken Burger

A brand built on pride

Ideal has a long tradition of supplying the nation with good, wholesome food. And we are proud that our brand is built on strong family ties and values of respect, integrity and hard work which also enables us to innovate, grow and adapt to a changing market. It is this combination of family values and entrepreneurial values which will enable our company to be resilient, and help us to thrive into the “third generation” and beyond.

This article was published in the Jan-Feb 2017 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!