Yossy Mustari: The diversity of Indonesia
The TableCheck Country Manager for Indonesia says Jakarta and Bali will lead the way for the country's recovery after COVID-19; TableCheck also enters the Philippine market
Yossy Mustari’s hotel management career has taken him to all four corners of the globe. In the Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and Asia, Yossy has worked in five-star hotels and has experienced what it was like to provide top-notch hospitality to guests in all these regions. However, after a successful career in hospitality, Yossy moved to sales in 2014, this time to focus on selling hospitality tech products back to hotels and restaurants in his native country Indonesia.
His love for the food and Beverage industry culminated in him joining TableCheck in 2019 as the Country Manager for Indonesia. His goal is to make TableCheck the no 1 standard online reservation platform for hotels and restaurants in the country and also in the Philippine market, which is he is now also overseeing.
Read the rest of our interview with Yossy below.
1. Describe for us what the hospitality industry is like in Indonesia.
We are one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world and we have a vast archipelago. With thousands of islands to boast of, hundreds of spoken languages, and four major religions, our food culture is rich and varied and is definitely shaped by all this diversity.
Dining is definitely a communal activity not only for families but also for employees.
For example, people like to have lunch outside, have meetings during lunchtime, and also have beers or snacks after work. People only usually go to fine dining restaurants on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays because not everyday will people go out and have a celebration. Usually fine dining restaurants are reserved for special occasions.
2. Tell us more about Jakarta being the capital of Indonesia.
It is the economic center of Indonesia and there are so many local and expatriate businesses here. Part of my sales strategy is to focus on Jakarta because the food sector has been more or less resilient especially after COVID-19 lockdowns in the country eased up. New business always comes to Jakarta, and I believe it has been one of the food industry’s saving grace.
3. What about Bali?
There are a lot of hotels and fine-dining restaurants in Bali. But with the pandemic, activity plummeted. However tourism is coming back, and I am sure it is on its way to recovery given that the island is opening its doors to tourism gradually. Bali will also remain one of the top destinations around the world. First, the Balinese are very hospitable and two, there’s an array of great restaurants from fine-dining to budget-friendly and there are so many activities to choose from. We have a great number of clients in Bali like Potato Head, The Apurva Kempinski Bali, Ayana Resorts and Spa Bali, The Lawn Canggu, St Tropez, etc. We want to bring more of these types of clients to our fold.
The area of Canggu for example hosts a lot of long-stay guests or what you call nomad digital travelers. They book to eat in their favorite restaurants. There is a caveat of course. Most of these restaurants still use OTAs for their online bookings and they find themselves losing more of their profit from paying huge commissions to third-party sites. For us at TableCheck, that’s a huge opportunity to educate these hospitality operators to switch to using an online booking platform that allows them to directly control their booking with zero fees.
4. How do you see the recovery of Indonesia’s food and beverage industry?
COVID-19 was devastating for all global economies but it also changed the paradigm of the food industry. I believe that Indonesia’s food sector needs to adapt to the new realities and consumer preferences. For example, online booking or online reservations is now a must for most restaurants given the restrictions we experienced in COVID-19. If hospitality operators want to control their bookings and profit, they should also start using a system like ours rather than using OTAs. They can control their guest data and earn more revenue rather than paying it to third-party sites. Restaurants can get huge benefits from having a TableCheck online booking platform and Table Management System (TMS) to capture guest data and utilize our CRM features to drive repeat guests and create loyal customers.
5. You’ve been working now for almost four years at TableCheck, what keeps you going?
I have great support from the team. Daniel Lee, Southeast Asia Regional Sales Director, is very open-minded. Together we think of ways to increase our business here in Southeast Asia. He also thinks out of the box and added the Philippines–another huge market in terms of F&B–as one of the countries I am helping to open a new market for TableCheck. That adds to my growth as an individual and as a salesman. The Philippines is a huge market and we believe that our products in TableCheck can match its needs. Now with Jakarta, Bali, and the Philippines, I am very excited about the possibilities.
"The Philippines is a huge market and we believe that our products in TableCheck can match its needs." –Yossy Mustari
6. What’s the TableCheck ambition for the Indonesian market?
I would like to make TableCheck the no. 1 platform here in Indonesia and I am positive that it’s going to happen. Aside from Jakarta and Bali, I also want to increase our presence in Surabaya and Bandung. We are doing all we can to meet this challenge head-on and I, together with the support of the whole SEA team, will ensure that we come out on top.
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