SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, BUILDING & DESIGNResearch Unit for Modern Architecture Studies in Southeast Asia
Foundation of Natural Build Environments (FNBE)
COMPARISON REPORT OF
PASTRY SHOPS IN
PENANG & SEREMBAN
Assignment 2 : Research Report
Module : English II [ELG30605] Lecturer: GopiGhantan Mylvaganam
Group Members : 1. Theresa Thia Ai Min 0323170 (Leader)
2. Teoh Zi Wei 0323372
3. Tan Yan Jie 0323906
4. Ng Chuan Kai 0323738
5. Ng Ji Yann 0323713
6. Lettitia Lois Hiew 0323908
7. Tang Fu Hong 0323092
TABLE OF CONTENTSNo.Title Page
2.Description of the History of the Business
3.Brief Description of the Business
KEY SUMMARYThis report is based on the comparison of two businesses, in which we chose to do Traditional Pastry Shops. The shops that we chose were located in Seremban and Penang, called Asian Siew Pau and Ming Xiang Tai respectively. We travelled to Penang for a personal interview with the owner of Ming Xiang Tai while the owner of Asian Siew Pau came down to Subang Jaya for the interview. From the interview we got to understand the brief description of both businesses and we were able to make a comparative analysis of both businesses competitive traits. Not only that, we were also able to think of recommendations for the business to improve. HISTORY OF TRADEMalaysian traditional bakeries were introduced and inspired by Westerners when they colonized Malaysia in the 19th and 20th centuries and conducted trade with the Chinese in these port cities, and imported their cultures and European culinary traditions with them. Westerners, mainly Portuguese and British have introduced Egg Tarts , a wide variety of sweet and savory buns, pastries, turnovers, some cakes and cookies. These baked introductions by the Portuguese and British to Malaysia would give rise and popularity to the concept of Traditional Malaysian bakeries, which are a fusion of Western, Chinese and Malay pastries. For example, some Chinese bakeries would also incorporate original Chinese items, and Chinese adaptations baked char siu bao red bean or lotus seed paste sweet buns as well as sweet vanilla egg custard buns.DESCRIPTION OF BUSINESSThe first business of our choice is owned by Mr Alvin Loke and is very famous in Negeri Sembilan, even in the whole Malaysia. It is the first Siew Bao Bakery shop in Seremban. This shop was founded by the owners wife, Ms Teh Yolie King with no particularly specific intention, only with the reason that baking was something that she was passionate about. It is founded since year 1998 with a capital of RM 5000. The business has been running with a steady customer flow for 17 years. Surprisingly, even after such positive customer feedbacks for the duration of time they have opened, they did have any other branches open as one branch is simpler to manage in their opinion. The location of the shop did alter from its original position which was just down the same street as they are currently running for business. The reason why this relocation was made is because the owner needed a larger space to fit in all the kitchen equipment that they have. As the business only has 1 branch, the total number of employees is quite minimal, with the amount currently being around 10 to 12 employees. The management structure is fairly simple as the only type of job positions available in the business are general managers, clerks, general workers and bakers. For the condition of the current business, it has an estimated amount of 200 customers on weekdays and more than 300 for weekends. On peak days, the numbers can rise higher than that, with the queue extending down the street for the whole day as quoted by Mr Alvin. Sometimes they will accept requests from travel companies that allow tourists to experience the process of making their signature pastries.
The shop is famous due to the main highlight which is the siew bao and egg tarts. Siew Bao, also known as roasted buns, actually originated from Seremban, so it has its own traditional baking technic to make it taste good. For them, they did not change the traditional baking recipe since they founded this shop. They even had the achievements of top in trip adviser webpage and introduced on TV in Singapore and Malaysia Astro TV program between these years.
Next, Ming Xiang Tai which is owned by Mr Au Meng Kit is famous in Pulau Penang. It is founded by the owner Mr Au Meng Kit himself in the year 2008. Before the business started, the owners grandmother was selling traditional handmade Cantonese pastries and biscuits with on her tricycle. To honor his grandparents, he started this business and has 4 branches all around the Penang Island. They have total around 30 to 40 employees and each branch has an amount of 8 to 11 employees. In each branch, there will be a supervisor, assistant supervisor, cashier, sales person, trainee, junior chef and senior chef. For the current condition of his business, it has an amount of 1000 customers on weekdays and up to 4000 of customers on weekend and public holidays. They can reach these massive amounts of customers due to the use of their traditional recipe, the amount of branches and that strategic location of the shops that are located in urban and tourist areas.
Their main products are Salted Egg Tart and Trishaw Egg Tart. Trishaw Egg Tart was started by Madam Yin Yu Qun in 1960s as a home based business. It was until 1970s that Madam Yins son Au Chee Teck and his wife Madam Chong Mooi used a trishaw cart to carry these egg tarts and sold in their local towns. The egg tarts are then named as the Trishaw Egg Tarts because it has 48 layers. Their achievements between these few years were their shop had been advertised by many different kind of multimedia such as TV program and webpages. The largest achievement is that Ming Xiang Tai had succeeded in honoring Mr Au Meng Kits grandparents and become a well known tourist stop for pastries in Penang. COMPARATIVE ANALYSISASIAN SIEW BAO (SEREMBAN)Seremban is famous for their food and drinks. We went to Asian Siew Bao for interview and we have their secret to be so successful in this industry and their famous product is Siew Bao one of the Cantonese pastries.
1. Number of Competitors in Their Respective Geographical Market.
As Siew Bao is one of the signature products in Seremban, Asian Siew Bao has quite a lot of competitors in the Seremban area. They have 2 main competitors around the area. Siew Bao Empire is one of their biggest competitors as it is one of the pioneers to start the traditional pastry business. Kee Mei Siew Bao is another competitor to Asian Siew Bao, which located near few residential areas. It gains a lot of customers by offering the cheapest price among all its competitors. Interestingly, all these competitors are actually opened by brothers, all related to the owner of Asian Siew Bao by blood.Competitor 1
Siew Bao Empire is located at Pasar Besar Negeri Sembilan (LG1-57 Tingkat Bawah Tanah). Seremban has big advantages for its location as it is located just beside the main Highway (Plus highway) of Seremban. It has become the tourist spot in Seremban as a place to buy souvenir and have lunch. Apart from Siew Bao, Siew Bao Empire also sells a lot of others products such as Egg Tart, Mixed Bread, Butter Cake and Tortoise Jelly. To gain more profit, they also opened up a Chinese restaurant that serves a lot of sea food dishes.
Competitor 2 Kee Mei Siew Bao is a small shop lot which located Jalan Tok Ungku,70100 Seremban. Owner of Kee Mei Siew Bao is the sister to Mr Alvin, the owner of Asian Siew Bao. As it is the family business of Alvins family, Mr Alvin does not really see it as a competitor. Kee Mei Siew Bao is located near a school, Bukit Mewah. It gained a lot of support from the students and staff of this secondary school. Kee Mei Siew Bao serves a lot of products such as Siew Bao, Mixed Bread, Cheese cake, Durian puff and cheese puff. It constantly comes out with new products to attract more customers.
Kee Mei Siew Bao is an international business as it has many branches at Singapore and China. Kee Mei Siew Bao serves the international market and it has a big demand. They earn more profit as compared to other traditional pastry shops in Seremban. 3. Strategies Used To Face Competitors
Owner of the Asian Siew Bao, Mr Alvin does not come up with a lot of strategies to tackle their competitors.He believes that products are just a small part of the business but instead the most important aspect is customer welfare. He truly cares and treats the customers with respect to make them feel appreciated. When there is a long queue in front of the shop, He will offer some seats to the senior citizens and children. When it is raining, he will offer his umbrellas and raincoats to his customers for them to cover up from the rain. Mr Alvin really contributes a lot to the society. He donated a lot of funds for school activities as well as charities that need cash support. As what he believes, customers will only return when they feel warm and touched for their caring behavior and services.
He also reduces the price of the products for as much as 5% within the period of the Chinese festival such as Chinese New Year and Lantern Festival.
Asian Siew Bao gained a lot of recognization through introductions made in the TV shows from Singapore as well as Hua Hi channel from Astro on their shop. Local radio channels such as Morning Kaki also came to Mr Alvins shop for an questionnaire section.
4. Obstacle Faced By Potential New Businesses From Mr Alvins opinion, it is very difficult for a new business to enter to the