LUCY WIRYONO: RISE AND FALL OF BUSINESS AND HOW TO FACE THE DOWNFALL
In running a business, ups and downs are very common and inevitable. However, not every business can revive after experiencing a downfall. It takes strong determination and hard efforts to be able to revive, like what was done by Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit.
Lucy Wiryono, the Business Owner and Head of Marketing of Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit, said that Holycow was started from the curiosity of Afit Dwi Purwanto, Lucy’s husband and the Chef of Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit, who wanted to sell premium steaks with low price. “We wanted to share Chef Afit’s experience in eating wagyu for the first time. In short, wagyu for everyone,” said Lucy, at the CMO Chat that was held on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016, at BINUS JWC Campus, Jakarta.
However, Lucy admitted that socializing and educating the community about new things, like wagyu at that time, was a hard task. According to her, consistent and continuous communication was the crucial key.
In building communication as well as socializing, Lucy chose social media like Twitter because the large audience and the information can be spread rapidly. Through social media, tried to educate the audience, for example about that fact that wagyu is more safety for human body.
Other than that, in its attempt to provide premium yet affordable steaks, Holycow also reversed the theory by set a high production cost, take a narrow profit margin, followed by large production and sales volume. “We also tried to prioritize our employees’ safety net to show our responsibility,” added Lucy.
With those strategies, Holycow managed to steal the attention, obtained high sales, and then obtained an extraordinary result – reached the Break-even Point (BEP) in only six months. Holycow even managed to open its own outlet, following those accomplishments.
But the most difficult challenge was happened after two years – Lucy and Afit had to break the cooperation with their partners, who also have a right to use Holycow’s name. After that, Lucy and Afit had to build everything from scratch, rebrand, and pay their responsibilities. “We tried to be honest and tell everything to our employees and customers,” Lucy explained.
Lucy and her husband tried to recover from the downfall by rebrand their own Holycow into Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit and re-introduced themselves to the customers. However, introducing new name and logo surely was a difficult task, therefore Lucy took a quite unique method.
Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit held an online campaign in a form of “election” to choose the new logo. Through that campaign, the audience could choose one out of four logos with the hashtag #PEMILGO. And then, the logo that got the most votes was chosen as its new logo. “This campaign also built the audience’s sense of belonging towards the logo. They who chose the logo would feel that they owned that logo,” Lucy said.
Soul: The Key for a Sustainable Business
With persisting efforts, determination, consistency to the business values, and hard work, Holycow! Steakhouse by Chef Afit managed to get through the little calamity and get back to its feet. But Lucy said that their business has its own recipe to be sustainable until now.
Although they have opened several branch outlets inside and outside Jakarta, Lucy and her husband still take the managerial role. Chef Afit also sets a Standard Operating Procedure and even regularly visits each outlet in order to maintain the quality and performance.
“The owner personal touch will give the soul to the business,” Lucy explained.
Lucy also gave an important piece of advice – always appreciate what the partners and friends have done. That’s the reason why Lucy and Afit committed to pay for their business’ new logo, although it was created by their own friend.
“Appreciate their efforts, and do not take those efforts for granted just because you are friends with them,” she said.