Is Thai Food More Popular Than Pizza?

A new survey in US city Seattle has prompted me to ask on the Htet Tayza blog this week; is Thai food more popular than pizza?

A Rich Culinary Tradition

As the co-owner of Escape Gastro Bar – home to a range of Thai-infusion creations – I’m more than aware of what this style of culinary artistry has to offer the modern consumer.

A rich culinary tradition, Thai dishes blend an array of enchanting South-East Asian aromas, flavours and textures to craft a wide variety of mouth-watering meals. The skill and heart that have traditionally characterised Thai cookery have seen it rise to become one of the world’s most popular modern culinary traditions.

Seattle’s Favourite Dishes

Yet the popularity of Thai cuisine was brought into such sharp relief, it surprised even a person such as myself, who has long championed Thai dishes, by a new survey in faraway Seattle.

According to Q13 Fox, a new survey from market research firm Scarborough has revealed that Thai food has become more popular than both pizza and Chinese food in the Washington State metropolis. Considering the fact that Seattle didn’t see its first Thai restaurant until 1981, this is an astounding feat.

29% of People Have Frequented a Thai Restaurant in the Past 30 Days

The survey polled the eating habits of 2,319 adults in King and Snohomish counties, asking them where they’ve eaten in the last 30 days. Seattle lies in King County.

A staggering 29% said that they’ve eaten in a Thai restaurant in the last 30 days. Only Mexican establishments ranked above Thai cuisine houses. Whilst this isn’t necessarily indicative of global eating habits, the fact that Thai food ranked so highly in a city that didn’t even boast a restaurant until the 1980’s is telling.

The Thai Cuisine Experience

So is Thai cuisine more popular than pizza? Chances are that the answer to that question would vary depending on which part of the world you were asking. Nevertheless, the fact that a culinary tradition that has only really hit the radar in the last several decades ranked so highly shows just what kind of experience you’re in for when you decide to frequent a Thai – or Thai infusion – restaurant.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

How to Look After Your Customer

To ensure you have everything you need to build a successful venture, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I outline how to look after your customer.

The Customer is King

Anyone who’s ever had even a smidgen of success in building a profitable business knows one thing. The customer is everything. Without a customer, you have no one to buy your product/service, thus no way to generate the capital you need to survive.

In the modern world, the business sector is more cut-throat than ever. That is why it’s so important that you recognise the value of your customers and strive to look after them. If you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar that somebody else will.

Five Ways to Look After Your Customer

Therefore, in order to prevent a loyal customer from deserting you, as well as attract new ones, you need to focus on looking after them. Here are five ways in which to do so.

  • Treat Them With Respect: Manners cost nothing, but can prove extremely lucrative. No consumer likes to feel as though their custom isn’t valued. That is why you need to ensue your staff are respectful at all times.


  • Provide a Feedback Service: A dissatisfied customer is a flight risk, but not a write-off. Keep them on board by providing a feedback service, through which they can vent their grievance. Then you can address it, show them that you value their custom, and persuade them to stay with you.


  • Initiate a Customer Reward Scheme: Customers are savvy people – they want as much bang for their buck as possible. Provide that bang by initiating a reward scheme – coupons, gifts, reward points etc., to show them just how much they can get through directing their business your way.


  • Hold a Customer Appreciation Night: If a customer feels as though their loyalty is setting them apart from everybody else, they’ll feel a greater desire to maintain that devotion. One way to make a customer feel unique, is to hold a customer appreciation event. You could, for example, hold an unveiling of a new product, available only to loyal customers.


  • Support the Causes They Care About: Do some research and find out what causes your customers care about, then initiate efforts to support those causes. By doing so, you remind people that when they patronise your venture, they are helping a cause they hold close to their hearts. With that knowledge firmly in place, why would they ever want to leave?

Strive to Capture Their Loyalty

Whatever method you choose to implement to show you care about your target consumer, you must remember that the customer is king. Without them, you are nothing, which is why you should strive to capture their loyalty at every opportunity you get.

How to Take a Chance and Succeed in Business

This week on the Htet Tayza blog, I want to address anyone who’s thinking of starting a niche venture and show how to take a chance and succeed in business.

Starting a New Niche Business is Complicated

Starting any new business is a risk. Often, you are starting a business with no money, no client base, no product, no contacts etc. You have to generate it all, and if you don’t, your company will go bust quicker than Wall Street did in 1929.

But things become so much more complicated when you’re trying to start a niche business. People often do so because they are following their passion, however this passion is often only shared by a select few. This makes it harder to generate the interest that translates into healthy profit margins.

The Chance to Try 100 Types of Cereal from All over the World

Yet it is possible to do so, as long as you position your business correctly. I want to illustrate this point by talking about a new business that’s due to open in London’s Shoreditch; a cereal cafe.

According to Bdaily Business News, identical twins Alan and Gary Keery will open the UK’s first ever cereal café on Brick Lane, Shoreditch. It will offer customers the chance to sample 100 varieties of cereal from all over the world (who knew there were even that many), as well as 13 different types of milk and 20 various types of cereal topping.

Catering to the Hipster Crowd

On the face of it, this seriously shouldn’t work. This is about as niche as it gets. However, I actually believe that it could work, and there are two reasons I believe it has a chance.

First of all, have any of you Htet Tayza readers ever visited London’s Shoreditch? It’s the hipster capital of the world. There are more mason jars filled with Sex on the Beaches in Shoreditch than there are anywhere else in the UK. This is exactly the kind of thing that will appeal to the hipster demographic; they’ve chosen their location well.

Secondly, they plan to populate the shop with 80’s and 90’s memorabilia. They’re really going for that hipster demographic. Most hipsters are of the age where they grew up in the 80’s and 90’s, and look back fondly on the time. Considering cereal can also be associated with childhood, you see just how nostalgic this place could be for the average Shoreditch resident.

Go After Your Target Consumer with Zeal

In other words, you can take a chance and succeed in building a niche business by being bold and catering to that niche. If you have a very specific audience, don’t waste time trying to hook in people who will never be interested. Go after your target consumer with zeal, and you stand a good chance of building a successful venture!

For more information, please read the Htet Tayza About page.

How to Handle Conflict in the Workplace

As discord is the enemy of profitability, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I want to share how to handle conflict in the workplace.

A Business Leader is only as Good as the People They Hire

A recent survey of 500 small businesses in the UK found that the preferred business mentor for most SME’s is Richard Branson. So why is he seen as such an ideal role model? Because as he explains in a blog post, a business leader is only as good as the people they hire.

Companies sink or swim based on the quality, and ability to work, of their employees. This is why any budding entrepreneur needs to be especially wary of office conflict. It sows discord, which makes for a toxic work environment that will soon have your most talented members of staff fleeing your enterprise in droves.

Use These Steps to Diffuse Office Conflict

That is why if you are looking to develop a successful business venture, you need to know how to diffuse office conflict; which you can do by implementing the following steps…

  • Act Immediately: The longer you take to intervene in an office argument, the more likely it is to escalate. That is why you need to act the minute your attention is alerted to an office conflict.


  • Isolate The Offenders: You need to immediately isolate the offenders for two reasons. Firstly, it removes distraction and allows the rest of your staff to get back to work. Secondly, it makes it easier for you to speak to the offending parties.


  • Get Both Sides of the Story: Once you’ve isolated the offenders, listen to what both have to say. Only then can you get an accurate idea of what has happened, and come up with a resolution.


  • Act as Negotiator: After you’ve heard both sides of the story, get the employees in question to talk things out, whilst acting as negotiator. If you don’t take this step, tensions will not be resolved and are likely to erupt again, causing more workplace conflict.


  • Outline a Solution: When both employees have talked things out, step up as a leader and outline a solution for how they are going to go about solving the problem at hand. That way, it won’t become an issue again.


  • Get Authoritative: Before letting the employees leave, remind them that this is a place of work, and such behaviour will not be tolerated again. That way, they will think twice about the consequences before spurring on any more conflict in the workplace.

Resolve Conflicts Before They Damage Your Company’s Bottom Line

If you follow his guide, you should find that you are able to effectively resolve any conflicts that arise in the office before they escalate to the point where they damage your company’s bottom line.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Four Ways Wearable Tech Will Benefit the Hospitality Industry

With the recent introduction of the Apple Watch, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I look at four ways wearable tech will benefit the hospitality industry.

Development of Technology is Good for Hospitality

Any entrepreneur will tell you that developments in technology are good for business. They provide new tools to make running a business more efficient; which helps to lift a company’s bottom line. As hospitality is service orientated, it often stands to benefit especially from the introduction of new technologies i.e. the mobile room key.

The new trend everyone is talking about at the moment is wearable tech. With the recent unveiling of the Apple Watch, smart technology that you can wear is on everyone’s lips. It’s so popular designers were even sporting it recently at Paris Fashion Week.

Wearable Tech Will Benefit Hospitality in the Following Four Ways

Wearable tech is already making its way to the hospitality industry, and as it continues to do so, it will is sure to benefit the industry in the following four ways…

  • Facilitate Instant Check In: We recently saw the introduction of the first hotel reception app for Google Glass, and it’s revolutionary. It allows check in attendants to recognise who customers are instantly, making check-in easier, efficient and thus far more cost effective.


  • Provide A Real Life Experience: With Google Glass, consumers looking to stay in a hotel can now experience what they’re in for before they book. Starwood’s guest facing app for Google Glass, for example, allows them to immerse themselves in any of the company’s brands and explore various destinations. Once this type of app becomes mainstream, it could act as a major marketing tool that will prove beneficial to the entire hospitality industry.


  • Enable Hands Free Information: The most obvious benefit is that wearable technology means that employees can access a vast database of information at their leisure, without even having to pick up a device. This will save serious time, as well as allow employees to multitask more effectively. This will make them more efficient and thus save money.


  • Deliver Prompt Service with Minimal Effort: Wearable tech like smart watches will be able to give employees the ability to keep track of whether a customer has ordered a cocktail, or what time they’re slated to receive their meal. It will allow them to ensure they receive prompt service, with minimal effort. This will make for happier consumers, less complaints and higher profit margins.

Wearable Tech Sure to Become Indispensable

It’s easy to see why wearable tech will benefit the hospitality industry. In fact, it already is doing, which is why I am sure that as it becomes more advanced, wearable tech will become indispensable to hospitality ventures around the world.

Htet Tayza, Escape Gastro Bar

Five Tips to Secure PR for Your Start Up

As visibility is vital for any new business to be a success, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal five tips for securing PR for your start up.

Start Ups Need to Generate Interest to Survive

Starting a new business, especially on a limited budget, is no mean feat. You have to develop your product, secure investment, perfect your business model etc. However, I would argue that one of the most important tasks is generating interest.

Basically, the more interest there is in your venture, the more likely it is to develop significant profit margins. That is why when you are starting a new business, you need to generate PR opportunities. However, considering the fact that you are an unknown, doing so is often easier said than done.

Use These Five Tips to Draw PR to Your Start-Up

Yet it isn’t impossible. The clued up entrepreneur can draw PR to even the greenest of start-ups. To help you do so, why not try one the following tips to secure PR for your start-up…

  • Find the Right Journalist: Don’t waste time appealing to every journalist under the sun. If you are at the head of a finance company, for example, and you appeal to a lifestyle journalist, you might as well have not bothered; you have nothing to interest them. That is why you need to find a journalist who specialises in your area, to secure PR for your start up.


  • Treat Journalists Like Human Beings: No one likes to be sold to; journalists are no exception. By treating them as people rather than PR machines, you show that you deserve PR, and appeal to their better nature. Through doing so, they will be far more inclined to bring PR to your business. Never underestimate the value of good will.


  • Find a Story: No journalist is going got think it’s a good idea to just write about your business; there’s no hook to get people interested. Therefore, you need a reason for them to write about you. For example, you could secure PR for your business by pitching a piece about a charity event in which you are involved.


  • Discover the Human Interest Angle: No journalist wants to write a dry, fact-filled piece. They want colour to appeal to their readers, and nothing says colour like a human interest angle. Find a way your business has already effected a real person, and you’ll be far more likely to attract PR opportunities to your start up.


  • Offer a Fresh Perspective: Whatever you do, you need to ensure that you offer the press a fresh perspective to secure PR for your start up. Basically, in today’s start up culture, they’ve seen it all before, so they’re looking for something different.

Devote Yourself to the Task

Essentially, drawing PR to your start up requires you to put the effort in. Phone in your attempts, and journalists will simply pass you by. However, should you really devote yourself to the task, you can attract PR which will generate interest in your company; ultimately translating into boosted profit margins.

How Can Entrepreneurs Stay Healthy on the Road?

To ensure that your physical condition remains at its peak throughout the rigours of entrepreneurial life, this week on the Htet Tayza blog I reveal how entrepreneurs can stay fit on the road.

Balancing Fitness and Success

As any reader of the Htet Tayza blog knows by now, I subscribe to the healthy body, healthy mind ethic. It is especially important for an entrepreneur to stay healthy, as only through doing so, will they achieve the mental fitness required to ensure they are positioned to make their venture a success.

Yet the life of an entrepreneur is a hard one. You are constantly busy, and you spend a lot of your time travelling, so that you can take advantage of every opportunity open to you. Consequently, slotting a fitness regime into your schedule when you are travelling is not easy to do.

A Few Tips to Help You Stay Healthy on the Road

However, it’s not impossible. It is entirely possible to craft your own fitness regime whilst travelling for work, to ensure you stay healthy. Here are a few tips to help you do so…

  • Get Creative: You’re not always going to have a gym at your disposal when travelling for business, so you need to think outside the box. Maybe you can run up and down some stairs, go for a walk around the hotel grounds etc.


  • Pack Fitness Supplies: This goes hand in hand with the first tip. If you pack small weights, for example, you can do a little weight training no matter where you are.


  • Book the Right Hotel: Picking the right hotel is essential for keeping fit on the road, as it allows you to keep up with your regime. Look at the hotel and see if it has a gym, healthy menu options etc.


  • Sleep Wherever You Can: Sleep is essential to fitness, as it allows the body to rest; rest is needed to ensure it can operate to the best of its ability in the daytime. Therefore, when you are travelling for business, sleep wherever you can; in the car, on the plane, in between meetings etc.

Ensuring You Are At the Top of Your Game

From here, we see that as long as you put the effort in, it is entirely possible for an entrepreneur to engage in efforts to stay healthy, whilst on the road for business. By doing so, you are positioning yourself to ensure you are at the top of your game, and are able to build up a successful entrepreneurial venture.

Five Public Speaking Tips for the Young Entrepreneur

htoo htet public speaking

As anyone starting out on the road to success needs to know how to communicate openly, this week on the Htet Tayza blog, I share five public speaking tips for the young entrepreneur.

You Need a Lot of Help When Starting a Business

Anyone who has developed a successful business from the ground up will tell you that when starting out, you need a lot of help. No entrepreneur is an island, and will need to secure investment, and generate interest, to ensure that their idea can be transformed into a profitable company.

Public speaking is vital to securing that investment and generating that interest. You may have to speak to banks, for example to find funding, or at an expo, to draw your chosen industry’s attention to your endeavour.

Five Ways to Develop Your Public Speaking Technique

Therefore, knowing how to speak in public is a vital skill-set, which any young entrepreneur has to have in their back pocket. Develop your public speaking technique with the following five tips…

  • Always Look Up: In one-to-one communication, looking somebody in the eye is vital to securing trust. It’s the same with public speaking. Avoid repeatedly looking down at your notes, to project an air of confidence.


  • Watch Your Pace: When speaking to a group of people, you need to strive to make sure they understand every word your saying, as you can’t exactly go back and explain. That is why you need to watch the pace of your speech, so the audience can keep up with you.


  • Refrain from Apologising: Everyone makes mistakes when speaking out loud for any length of time. However, acknowledging it will only draw the audience’s attention. Do as news readers do and carry on, to ensure you recover your confidence with lightning speed.


  • Understand Your Material: I’m not just saying you need to do your research. You need to intrinsically know your subject, so you never feel nervous talking about it. This is a building block that will always lend you an air of confidence when talking about your business in public.


  • Practise: As with any skill, the best way to get good at it is simply to do it over and over again. As you practise, your confidence will soar, making you look more effective as a public speaker.

You Will Master Public Speaking

Once you have tried these tips out for yourself, you will soon see that you develop the skill set needed to master public speaking. From there, you can effectively use this skillset to promote your entrepreneurial venture.