A Work Week With Christian Tan, Owner Of Multiple F&B Venues
Christian Tan, well-known as the co-owner of Singapore's iconic Tanjong Beach Club, also helms not one, but two other local F&B joints: Super Loco, a 200-seat diner, and Lucha Loco, a casual and vibrant Mexican taqueria and bar. Here, he shares what a typical work week of a multiple restaurant owner entails.
I typically get up between 7 to 7.30am which is always a struggle. Once I get past that, I kick start my day with an almond and coconut oil coffee while watching the sunrise in my balcony. After I'm done soaking in the vitamin D, I either head to the gym, run, or do laps in the pool. I get so much energy and enjoyment from exercising. I am big believer that your morning rituals set the tone for the rest of the day, so it is important to get it right!
After my morning workout, I get started in my home office that overlooks the ocean, it's amazing! I write down my to-do list for the day and week, covering Super Loco, Lucha Loco, overseas projects, and Tanjong Beach Club. I avoid emails and social media at the start of the day as I'd rather focus on deeper creative-thinking or strategic tasks. After I have done these tasks, I open up my emails and sieve out the more urgent ones to respond to. I receive over a hundred emails daily! Around 10 to 11am, I drive to the office. On my way, I listen to podcasts as I want to spend every spare minute I have either learning or being inspired! I am a big fan of Monocle radio, as well as the Tim Ferriss podcast series.
I spend the morning brainstorming new ideas, concepts and promotions with my marketing team. We work out what will be most effective, we then prioritise, delegate and get cracking! If I have any free time, I will spend it watching educational online webcasts or presentations on social media. Right now I am trying to get my head around social media advertising.
In the evening, as all three venues are open, I do my best to visit at least two of them in one night. My job is to inspire the front of house and back of house teams with recognition, offer constructive feedback, greet familiar guests and see how our marketing initiatives are going. I also get to try new dishes or cocktails - it's tough, but someone has to do it!
I have a backlog of people to follow up with and contact, so I prioritise who to meet. I usually have those lunch meetings at Super Loco Customs House. If I don't have any, I will instead be researching, strategising and reading up on how to grow and scale our ‘Loco Group’ business. Right now, the focus is on opening Super Loco venues within North Asia.
After work, I unwind by going surf ski paddling around the outer islands, which I try to time with the sunset. It takes about an hour to complete the entire 14km.
The restaurant managers come to our office in Duxton Hill and report on how the venues are doing and convey feedbacks. This usually takes a few hours. I also take the chance to review the sales for our Super Loco Jakarta venue. I'll have a call with the Jakarta marketing team to review the sales and pax volume. This also gives me a chance to practice my very poor Bahasa!
After a full day of meetings, I am shattered. I get home from work and cycle to Tanjong Beach Club for a meal. Here, I catch up with the front of house team, see what's working and what events are coming up. After dinner, I like to do some laps in my apartment pool to completely unwind. On nights where it is a full moon, the entire pool lights up as I am swimming - it's awesome!
I leave Fridays for anything outstanding - meetings, leadership trainings, seminars, networking and staff briefings. On Friday afternoons, I like to reflect and give some thought to my performance during the week, what I did well, what I didn't, and where I can improve. I am a big believer that reflection is important for my personal and professional growth.
Fridays are our busiest days of the week so I need to make sure the teams are motivated, happy and ready to have a great evening with our guests. I start at Super Loco Customs House for the after-work crowd then head over to Lucha Loco at Duxton Hill for our ‘Fridays Go Loco’ session. If I am having a big night and need to let off some steam, you can find me at Lulu's or Kilo Lounge drinking way too many G&Ts.