Ken Yeo: Greater China and South Korea are fast-growing markets for TableCheck
"We need to think locally and act globally," says the TableCheck Regional Sales Manager
Ken Yeo has built a solid career in sales in the hospitality industry spanning over 16 years and across different companies and products.
Ken, who is originally from Singapore, also had a stint at the multinational company 3M where he was in charge of brands like Post-It and Scotch. However, even during that time, Ken says he was still visiting his old-time hospitality clients to propose new products.
"I believe in building long-term relationships and client satisfaction," says Ken before adding "even if the products are different, the skills of relationship building and clientele base remain the same."
According to Ken, his heart really lies in the hospitality industry. He joined TableCheck in 2018 as a Sales Manager for Singapore and eventually became the Regional Sales Manager for Greater China and South Korea.
Read our exclusive interview with Ken on why he says 'sky is the limit' for TableCheck in these two markets:
1. What attracted you to join TableCheck?
I have always enjoyed good food, but to be able to partake in the restaurant's success journey is what I have envisioned.
It was a good opportunity for me as my previous work experiences in sales for kitchen equipment and food ingredients, allow me to understand the food preparation journey. However, learning does not stop there. I always want to expand my horizons from a sales standpoint.
I have never worked in any IT solution-based company and this new role at TableCheck will definitely challenge my ability and steer up my learning curve.
2. Greater China and South Korea are huge markets, what does TableCheck need to do in order to take a bigger slice of the pie? What are the other challenges?
We need to be able to differentiate ourselves from the competition. That means we need to think locally and act globally for each of the markets. How do we do it? We need to deepen our understanding of these cultures, demographics, the food industry, and more importantly their needs and wants.
The other challenges that we need to tackle include knowing the different guidelines on data collection restrictions, currency fluctuation, and essentially monitoring market conditions.
3. How would you differentiate the two markets?
In the global region, Greater China has been a fast-growing market for us even though we started right before the pandemic.
The current market already has a major presence of local OTA (online travel agency) thus it is important for us to inculcate our global hospitality experience and presence. However, it has proven to be a market that cannot be neglected even with the number of difficulties we have faced. The exponential growth has made us realize the importance and the right decision not only to enter this market but to ensure we expand our footprint.
As for the South Korean region, it is built on localization and meeting our client's demands and requirements. The market already understands their needs but it is still fluid when it comes to their wants.
Both markets are different and we have different approaches and strategies catered to each market.
Our team is specialized and equipped with the knowledge to provide a strong value proposition for our clients in the ever-changing market conditions.
4. What’s our overall ambition in these two giant markets?
We desire to connect our diners directly with the restaurant hence our vision of "Dining Connected" came about. It is a challenge for restaurants to manage their business operations and at the same time increase revenue with limited resources, so it is important for hospitality operators to use a system like TableCheck that can help elevate all aspects–meaning all brand touch points–and at the same time save time and cost ultimately. With TableCheck, we want to help bring them long-term success.
5. Which TableCheck features are working well for our clients in Greater China and South Korea?
TableCheck has constantly been innovating and developing features that cater to different markets.
Some of the key features include the new booking form, EDM (electronic direct mail), and importantly Insight analytical tool. The guest journey does not end at data collection which in fact is the opposite, it is the beginning of converting them into regular diners without paying high cover charges to third-party marketing companies.
We are continually improving on having a full suite of features to help restaurants enhance their dining experience.
6. How are you steering your team to success?
The main strategy of our team is to first identify the key markets and focus on the right target audience.
I always tell my team that it is important to share our extensive experiences with clients in the hospitality industry whether it is a hotel enterprise, a Michelin or an award-winning restaurant, or other restaurants owned by important hospitality groups, to show that TableCheck has credibility and the expertise in connecting these restaurants and helping them create long-term relationships with their guests.
Then we help our clients understand their requirements and what we can do to help. And last but not the least, we set priorities and accountability.
7. Who do you emulate as a leader? Any motto you live by?
As part of the global team, I am looking at the success of different countries' leaders and their success stories. I believe in leading the way and showing the direction to my team.
The motto "Sky is the Limit" is what I live by, whether it is for sales or self-development. There are no limits.
What we do
Let TableCheck manage your restaurant while you focus on growing your business and delivering what you do best – creating magical moments for your guests.