Former auditor Joe Yee is proving that you don’t need a culinary background to run a food business. The secret recipe for the success of her outlet, KGB? Passion and perseverance.
PHOTOGRAPHY YONG KEEN KEONG MAKEUP DIVA PRODUCTION HAIR BIBIAN LEONG/HAIR MENU
FEMALE: How was KGB founded?
Joey: “I was an auditor for four years before deciding to venture into the F&B business since I’m a professed foodie. After a trip to the USA, my fiancé (and KGB co-founder) Steven and I were inspired to open a burger joint – our first choice cos we’re not chefs! With burgers, you only have to focus on getting the right combination of patties and buns.”
FEMALE: Have you always harboured dreams of opening your own restaurant?
Joey: “Basically I thought I would open a café after I retire since I’m so interested in food, but I never expected it to be this soon.”
FEMALE: What were your start-up concerns?
Joey: “We had no experience in running a restaurant and feared we’d be drowned by the number of burger joints mushrooming at that time.”
FEMALE: What did you learn upon opening KGB?
Joey: “That running a food business is harder than I imagined! We had to do all sorts of unimaginable things like cleaning the grease trap and working really long hours. When we first started, it would even go up to 16 to 20 hours a day. Sometimes we felt like calling it quits cos there were just too many problems to handle.”
FEMALE: Did you face uncertainty at any one point?
Joey: “There were doubts when we became accustomed to the long hours and our social lives were compromised. Plus, manual labour was starting to take a toll on us too. But passion and perseverance helped us overcome this cos we really hoped to see the ‘baby’ grow.”
FEMALE: What else gave you hope and encouragement?
Joey: “The customers gave us hope cos they liked our food and returned for more; that motivates us still. And I guess passion in whatever you do really makes a huge difference.”
FEMALE: How do you feel about KGB’s success?
Joey: “I’m contented with our current position. In just two years, we now have three outlets (in Bangsar, The Gardens Mall and TTDI). We hope to expand without compromising quality. Maybe, we’ll also open a franchise overseas. Who knows?”
FEMALE is partnering with SK-II to show you how you can #changedestiny. Click HERE to begin.