Engineer Turned ‘Nasi Ayam’ Restaurant Owner; What Made Him Do it?

In 2017, an engineer decided to take a leap of faith and resigned from his high-paying job in Shell to open ‘Nasi Ayam Mafia’ in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi.

Growing up working part-time in his family-owned restaurant alongside his parents, Nik Johari Nik Mat always had the passion for opening his own business running through his veins.  

Nik Johari ventured into the F&B line by opening a coffee stall at first with only one worker with him. He then added more items on the menu and managed to open four other stalls all in the span of one month.

Why ‘nasi ayam’?

“Although I grew up in a Thai Restaurant setting and atmosphere, I knew it was not going to be easy to formulate a similar SOP and maintain its consistency,” said Nik Johari in an exclusive interview with BusinessToday.

“When choosing the type of food we wanted to serve, I was looking for a dish that was easy to cook, so that our staff on duty could easily follow the recipe and work magic! A plus point is that ‘nasi ayam’ is something enjoyed by all races and ages.”

The impact of the pandemic

“Fortunately, the demand for our Nasi Ayam Mafia increased by three times during the pandemic. In the beginning, the orders we received were completely out of hand.

We were not able to accommodate them, but we quickly re-designed the cafe infrastructure to accommodate the large amount of orders and thankfully, we were able to get back on track very quickly to sustain the business.”

Why Foodpanda?

“I still remember being attached to the Shell in Cyberjaya and I noticed many vendors in the area that would open up a stall and rely on foodpanda for their deliveries.

They were even some vendors that dedicated a whole segment or area within their stall or restaurant, just to handle the delivery orders. I was beyond impressed to see this trend and I foresee the use of delivery platforms being used more widely in the F&B industry moving forward.”

“I am very thankful for this opportunity to be listed on foodpanda because I was able to witness a steady increase since getting on the platform and I look forward to continuing the partnership.”

What the future has in store

Nik Johari told BusinessToday that he plans to expand and diversify the business in the near future.

“I also want to be a part of a Cloud Kitchen, where I am able to work in the same space as other local and international brands.”

Besides that, Nik Johari is in the midst of finalizing their drive-thru and franchising their products that includes the Sambal Mafia, Sambal Belacan Mafia, Thai Tea Sawadikap and Heaven and Sky Teh O Ais Limau Thai.

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