07/05/2009 - 00:00

Creative duo think outside of the box

07/05/2009 - 00:00


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IN just six months, Balcatta-based lunchbar, café and catering service Adam's BrunchBox has tripled its turnover.

Creative duo think outside of the box
THINKING BIG: Adam’s BrunchBox co-owner Simon Yam’s creative thinking has helped the business triple its turnover. Photo: Grant Currall

IN just six months, Balcatta-based lunchbar, café and catering service Adam's BrunchBox has tripled its turnover.

From humble beginnings after taking over the small business in October 2008, proprietors Andrew Smith and Simon Yam have grown the company to a successful catering business, with a café coaching arm and impending exclusive coffee distribution contract.

Combining Mr Yam's creative marketing and public relations skills with Mr Smith's culinary expertise as a chef, Adam's BrunchBox is a unique niche within the highly competitive lunchbar market.

But as Mr Yam explains to WA Business News, getting the small business to gain traction through product differentiation was no easy feat.

"The one major problem that we had to overcome when we first started running the business was trying to get previous customers who had stopped coming to the business to give us a fair go," Mr Yam said.

"These could have been customers who had unpleasant experiences or have been swayed over to healthier food choices currently being offered by other takeaway joints such as Pure and Natural and Sumo Salads.

"Despite the fact that lunchbars potentially have high profit margins, we did not want to be caught up with serving only predictable lunchbar food.

"There was a need to think laterally and to work with what our potential customers want and what the creative edge would be to breathe new life into the genre of lunchbars in Australia."

To attract customers back, the pair tried to bridge the gap between what the previous business signified, what Adam's BrunchBox offered and what the customer wanted.

They began rebranding on several levels, using a vibrant image, interesting name and an identifiable tagline and introducing a marketing gimmick of giving a free 'Adam's Apple' with any purchase.

The business was repositioned as a lunchbar/café instead of just a lunchbar - a concept of bringing into residential and industrial areas what is usually deemed café service, as seen in popular café strips such as Mt Lawley, Leederville and West Perth.

After re-decorating and re-fitting the shop on a tight budget, the pair changed the menu to serve both lunchbar favourites as well as healthier options and quality café coffee.

The last piece of the strategy was to improve and up-skill the workforce on customer service, while ensuring employees remained passionate about their job with a focus on food quality.

"Indeed, during the first month, we battled trying to regain the confidence of past customers, but we did not take long before they started coming back and giving really good feedback. Most of them are part of our pool of loyal customers now," Mr Yam said.

"Customers have constantly reiterated to us how our various marketing strategies have been favourable and how much they enjoy coming to the shop because of our fantastic customer service, our cross-section of food choices, and consistency in good quality food.

"Some of the feedback included enquiries if we are a franchise.

"This is a sign that the strategies implemented have definitely worked and that we were on the right track right from the beginning, but also paved the way for the business to grow creatively in all aspects in marketing ideas, food options and service to our customers."


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