Pornthiwa Nawanuch: We grow with our clients

Thailand is the ultimate restaurant and tourism destination according to the TableCheck Country Manager

TableCheck

TableCheck

May 24, 2022 - 4 min read

Pornthiwa Nawanuch: We grow with our clients

Pornthiwa Nawanuch knew that it was only in sales that she can really achieve a balance between her family life and working life. She had the opportunity to do just that working for FCS, selling solutions for clients like Marriott, IHG, and Hilton in Thailand.

This allowed her to focus on becoming a mom and enjoy her passion for traveling and dining.

“I had my first kid and this job allowed me to balance motherhood and work with customers around Bangkok. I am a person who enjoys traveling and eating and I am always looking for new restaurants and new hotels to try.

Soon TableCheck came knocking, and with her experience in sales coupled with her passion for food, it seemed like a perfect match. 

Read the rest of our interview with Pornthiwa.

Why did you join TableCheck?

I have been involved with hospitality solutions for almost 10 years and with the relationships I have in hotel operations, I understand how TableCheck can provide value to hospitality businesses so it was a smooth transition for me to go to market it to potential clients.

And because I am passionate about traveling and dining, what I found most appealing was the thought that I had converted the thing I most love into my job. The TableCheck platform for me was also easy to learn. The company started about 11 years ago; we grew so fast, and the company always keeps improving in terms of innovation. I know I have a future with TableCheck.

What makes Thailand a top destination for restaurants and tourism?

I think the most powerful thing and the reason why tourists like Thailand, is because we are known for our smiles. Aside from that, Thailand is also a country with a rich food culture. There are a lot of flavors and tastes in Thai food: you have the sweet and the spicy; if you are a chef you have to learn how to marry the sweet with the sour flavors and how to use different ingredients and colors. With all these combinations, chefs can create a variety of new dishes for diners. That’s what makes the art of food in Thailand interesting. Creativity comes from these different Thai flavors which have become part of what Thailand is known for.

Thai cuisine

How did TableCheck start in Thailand?

The first client we had in Thailand was a Japanese restaurant named Sushi Masato, a traditional sushi omakase one-Michelin-starred restaurant based in Bangkok helmed by Chef Masato Shimizu. 

Now, more than 100 restaurants already use our system including Sorn, Centara, Mahanakhon, Minor Hotels, and many more.

How much did COVID-19 affect the restaurant industry in Thailand in the past two years?

In the first three months, the country was shut down and all the restaurants and some hotels had to close. Everyone was in a state of shock but after the third month, Thailand allowed restaurants to reopen their business for pickup and delivery. That's when we offered the TableCheck PickUp and Delivery feature to some clients. Through this feature, we were able to maintain our position in the market and helped restaurants come up with a new revenue stream during COVID-19, especially for those who didn’t originally have this option at their venues.

READ MORE: 7 ways restaurants can deliver a safe dining experience to guests

How did you manage sales during that challenging period?

Even though our clients thought it was impossible to work with us during COVID-19, I told my clients: "Keep going. I’ll keep supporting you". I kept showing my face and kept calling them to maintain our relationship with them. 

Because of COVID-19, all restaurants had to follow social distancing rules. From having 100% capacity, restaurants can just fill 50% seat capacity. That’s when I pushed to sell our TableCheck restaurant booking platform more. Because of COVID-19, it meant some of the really famous restaurants and famous hotels now need a powerful restaurant booking system like TableCheck to navigate these new rules and manage their bookings.

Thailand

What’s our market share and ambition for Thailand?

I feel confident we are the number one restaurant reservation and guest experience platform in Thailand even though we have some competitors here. 

We not only deliver the best Table Management at TableCheck, but we also deliver great customer service. When a client buys a product, that product should also be equally useful to their staff. When I go to the market, the most important priority for us is to maintain the customer and improve customer satisfaction. Along with the sales team, we have TableCheck consultants who provide support to our existing clients, so we all work together. When a customer is happy, they usually call each other. Word of Mouth is very important: when the F&B or the restaurant owner is happy with your system, they usually share the information with their network and friends.

TableCheck provides value to our clients in Thailand. We monitor our clients, encourage them to use our system and we educate them to see the value of adopting this new system, especially our Table Management system to manage seats–a standard in hotels–which is really applicable and essential now to restaurants.

Sorn, one of our major clients in Thailand, won no 2 in the recent 2022 Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants.

Sorn is one of my favorite restaurants and I’m glad they are part of the TableCheck family. In the beginning, they were looking to improve the efficiency of their system. As a popular restaurant, there are so many people who are trying to make reservations. Before customers had to call the restaurant and a Sorn staff would have to record, send the bank account details to them and confirm their booking.

With the TableCheck system, they open their reservations only one time a month when they open for reservation; it will be fully booked in 10 minutes and customers complete their payment process within 30 minutes. TableCheck really helped their operations in a big way. The booking system also helped them to add guest profile details; when they have repeat bookings, they can see the details of the customer and the purpose so they can refine their service according to the guest.

READ MORE: Asia’s 50 Best restaurants of 2022: Den, Sorn and Florilège snag top awards

Thailand has opened its doors to fully vaccinated travelers, what are you most looking forward to?

Normally Thai people, if we want to go to a certain restaurant, there’s no need to book in advance. But with the reality of COVID-19, we became much more informed and educated about restaurant bookings. We will use this lesson now that our borders are open again. We need to check the restaurants first and get a reservation. I think in every bad thing, there is always a good thing that comes out of it. Now restaurants need a reservation platform like TableCheck to make sure that they follow safe dining practices, prevent cancellations last minute, and provide the best experience to diners.

In the end, a reservation platform like TableCheck has become a must-have system for all restaurants not only just a nice-to-have for some restaurants as in the past.

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