Kedai Kopi year?

Would you want this to be in KK?

Every now and then, my mind will spark an idea to start up a new business here in good ol' Kota Kinabalu city. Dreams of opening my very own Chili's, Kinokinuya bookstore, underwater world aquarium, etc. Bringing a bit of class and variety to the city. Others will have their own sparks too and come up with these fantastic ideas for cool new business ventures. Like the others though, there is a certain fear within me. Will the business succeed? I always thought of last year as the 'Kedai Kopi year' for Kota Kinabalu. This year might just be the same. Heck, there is even so many new coffee shops in KK now! Why Kedai Kopi year? Spending power. There is not enough middle class and above people to sustain most middle class and above businesses. On the other side, there is always more than enough to sustain and even make a small business like running a coffee shop successful.

It happens...

I'm sure you've seen them. Some branded shops or classy looking restaurants, most of the time almost or totally empty. Outlets that originally opened to bring something different and be the buzz of the town with customers flowing in. Always with a promising start but a start is what they only had that was bright. Some managed to survive somehow and some closed down.

Unfortunately too pricey...

Given a choice to open a kopitiam or Carls Jr, which one will you pick? Kopitiam would be the wise choice. Sorry Carls Jr, its not that we doubt the quality of your product. Most people here just prefer the cheaper alternative. While a kopitiam might have a lesser profit margin, it has a higher success rate to break-even as fast as 3 months or at least less than a year. Not the same with Carls Jr. There will be regulars who can afford the menu coming to Carls Jr, but from what I've seen with other shops of similar class, there is just not enough out there to sustain the business.

Pricey but lots of people will go and spend!

But who I am to say? As fearful as myself and others can be, it doesn't mean the ideas we had in mind are not impossible to be a success. Sometimes we just have to take the risk. Not enough middle class and above with spending power? Little Italy restaurant down at the city center is almost packed every night even during lunch hours. Customers here spend at least RM30 for a session of food and drinks. Nandos might actually work in KK. People here just love chicken. From something as affordable as 5 star chicken outlets to The Chicken Rice Shop to the beloved KFC, these places always have a very good daily traffic of customers. Oh, and not to forget, japanese food outlets. Nuff said.

Hard to go wrong with chicken.

So is 2010 still can be considered a kedai kopi year? Here is my take. It is not that we don't have enough middle class and above spenders here in KK. It is all about what kind of business that we plan to open. What is big among these people? Something different is good but has to be somewhat at least a high potential sure fire hit too. Something what most people here love. Did I mention Nandos? There is no portugese chicken outlet around and people here love chicken. You want an existing example of such a case? Suria shopping mall's GSC cinema. Quite a success so far. RM15 per ticket and yet lots of people are flocking in to watch the likes of SHREK 3D and Avatar 3D. If it didn't exist, why would it be a very good idea to open it? There is no other 3D cinema around and people here love watching movies in this cinema. Remember, 'different' and 'what most people love'.

Different views...

The topic I'm touching here has more issues than what I just mentioned to be considered. I'm not always right and you are most welcome to comment this post with your own opinions. Always open to different views.

p/s: Wishing the best of success and luck to all who wants to open a new business.


Cath J said...

ahhh... I have the same tot's... I am planning to open something too.. But still have this fear.. am I able to do it or not.. coz I am not in KK (But family does ^_^).. I am still 'plucking the flower's petal' up to now.. (YOu know what I mean?? can.... can not... can...cannot... LOL)

agree with all your statement here... it's like ahhhh... at last some1 speak out my mind.. hahahha..

maslight said...

I'd love it if there's a kinokuniya here.

Shemah said...

"Always with a promising start but a start is what they only had that was bright." - so absolutely true.. Look at when new york2 just opened.. now, hardly anyone goes there. (well, from what I saw the last time I went back).

I don't think kk is ready for Chilli's, TGIF, carl's jr. I know i might be blasted for saying so, but that's just the truth. Sure it gives ppl a chance to have something different and new, but then again, the survival factor is really low. Ultimately, you want what's best for the people and for your business right?

But you might be absolutely dead on with nando's. The people really do love their chicken. At least it's a healthier (i think) choice compared to Ayam Tucky. LOL! :D

And really lah kk.. enough kopitiams already. LOL!

◦● べバリー●◦ said...

Chillis would be nice! but its a bit too pricey also Kinokuniya wold be awesome too!!

Wyne Ren @ Mauve Ocean Blue said...

I just want affordable kedai kopi...something that my mum will not says 'ee, mahal bah makan di sana...' Typical mum I have here...hehe!

Underwater world Aquarium?...arrggh! make it happen dear...

d1n0za said...

Cath J - Great minds think alike? haha

maslight, ◦● べバリー●◦ - You think Times bookstore is doing ok at the moment?

Shemah - LOL Its good to see you in the comment box again!

Wyne Ren - For the underwater world, I need LOADS, LOADS and LOADS of cash first. But yeah, it'll be awesome to have one in KK. Wasn't there suppose to be one in 1Borneo?

seweng said...

:) i've always had this argument with my mom..asking y aren't there more chilis or carl jrs or even gaps or armanis in kk. because for all i know, sabahans do go to these places here in kl! n hell, they spend a lot! how these businesses fail in kk, still baffles me.

Maybe 'Remember, 'different' and 'what most people love'' applies very well in kk.

p/s last time i heard, there are now 4 gscs now back home. is that true guys?

d1n0za said...

Seweng - Nah, just two GSCs. One at Suria Sabah and the other at 1Borneo. The old school GSC closed down.

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