1. Tell us more about your brand’s story and why you decided to start Wafuken?
When I was 14/15 years old, I loved cooking and eating food which resulted in me being overweight. At a certain point, I weighed more than 90kg and my self-esteem plummeted to it’s lowest. When I turned 16, I wanted to participate in a boxing match but I was overweight for it. I tried all sorts of diets but only one worked – a balanced diet plus workout.It changed my perspective on life a lot and I realized there is no shortcut to achieving your goals.
It was difficult to balance your social life while trying to lose weight at the same time. Outings with friends often involved bonding over unhealthy food and it was challenging for me to have a balanced social life.
A few years later, I realized that there were not a lot of options for healthy food. While there were salads or vegetarian fare, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were healthy options.That’s when I realized I wanted to start something, start a healthy food business.
I met my business partner, Edmund while serving NS. At that point of time, he was a chef in training at Shatec. I shared with him about my idea of coming up with the healthy recipe concept and he agreed that it is a feasible business.
While I was doing my Degree in Australia,I spent a lot of time cooking and coming up with recipes. I was training and eating well. I believed that by working out well and eating well, I can have better mental health. This allows you become a better person and that was when I realized I had to do this business.
We started thinking about the type of cuisine we wanted to venture in and finally decided on Japanese. That’s why we are named Wafuken. Wafu means Japanese style of western cuisine while Ken is the short form of Kenko which means wellness in Japanese.
2. What’s the most interesting/unique part of Wafuken’s journey thus far?
Our menu! It is built in a way that can cater to all types of diets. We want to create a place and experience for everyone, regardless of whether they are health enthusiasts or not.
Also, our food is made fresh. For example, if you order chicken, we will grill it on the spot and serve it piping hot to you.
3. Was online ordering always part of your business’s plan?
Yes, of course. Looking at the current generation and the future, technology is the way to go in life. Everyone prefers convenience these days and online ordering is definitely the convenient way to order food online, instead of dining in.
Also, without having to acquire a bigger dine-in space, I can still increase revenue with the help of online ordering!
4. What was your biggest fear of going online?
Food quality, logistics and the operations. I worry about my customer’s experience while ordering the food, as long as the food quality when it reaches the customer. When something goes wrong, the customers will not blame the solutions or logistics provider, but it will be Wafuken’s reputation that will be affected. That’s what worries me but so far, we have not experienced anything too extreme and that is something I am glad about.
5. How was your experience after using Oddle?
Oddle is alright, not many issues. Reasonably intuitive and I am happy with Oddle.
6. Has Oddle helped your brand? If so, how?
Yes, it helped me to manage bulk & corporate orders easier, something I won’t be able to do on marketplaces.
7. Is growth possible with Oddle?
Sure. One of the functions that I like about Oddle is the ordering system – it has a pickup option which we were actually looking to work on.
If Foodpanda would to ask me the same question, I will say no because Foodpanda is living off my business. Oddle, on the other hand, is different. They help me to grow my business and it is mutually beneficial. When Oddle gets bigger, Oddle will get better. This means there will be more functions which would benefit my brand as well. This is the nature of business. When running a business, we either find a solution to solve an issue or work on the solution to improve on it.