Tandem Collective currently houses two concepts: A Poke Theory – a fast-casual food joint specializing in fully customizable poke bowls, as well as Alter Ego – which is acts as a café in the day and morphs into a gastro pub by night, dishing out both their signature poke bowls as well as indulgent grub to go with selected craft beers on tap. They have recently begun franchising for A Poke Theory, with the first franchise outlet already opened for operations, and another two more following up within the next quarter. They are in the midst of their research to turn the brand halal, and finding a few more locations for the last few franchise outlets before they either hunt for partners for overseas expansion, or start on the next concept that will strive towards a franchise model as well.
Enthralling Journey of Tandem Collective
Joey Lee, Founder and Vannessa Lee, Co-Founder and Brand Director at Tandem Collective initiated their dream venture to bring something new and original, innovative, unique to the scene. They had dreamt of this big day, since they were kids; it was a dream these two partners had sown together. When they were kids, their eyes lit up when they saw people enjoy an amazing meal with others and create memories that would last them for years. When they shared the joy with their families and talked about it amongst themselves; they realized that they were predestined to build an amazing company together. They had a challenging start with A Poke Theory both of them were juggling several different roles. During their initial struggle; both of them worked as store manages, chef, accountant and as marketing specialist too. The initial phase as expected was extremely challenging, however they received an enormous encouragement from their clients to keep them going. . Joey and Vannessa made survived the first phase and assembled a team for A Poke Theory. They shifted their focus onto the next concept – Alter Ego. After A poke theory, they were approached by Esplanade for their waterfront unit. The response was great once more, with their regulars encouraging other customers to check out the new place. They dove into the #cheesepull trend on Instagram with their Pizza Fries and Shortrib Grilled Cheese, expanded their beer offerings, and headed into events.
While that was going on, Joey and Vannessa added a new challenge to their plate – the building of their franchise model for A Poke Theory. It was pretty intense experience of juggling these 3 major projects, but it has certainly paid off. Their hunger to succeed always helped them to break out of their bleakest phases.
Luscious Awards on their Plates
They were beaming with pride when their delicious Instagrammed poke bowls were trending on Instagram, swirling the imagination with their myriad of colors and clean packaging style. For a period of time, they held the top spot on the UberEATS platform, amidst the vast range of food options available to customers. A Poke Theory certainly proved that healthy eating could be colorful, tasty, and above all, satisfying. They were also awarded a prestigious position in Burpple’s Top 100 Restaurants 2016. It is a further testimony to the hard work and ingenious thinking that has changed the mass perception of healthy food. .
Masterly Chef of an Idea behind Tandem Collective
Joey and Vannessa believe in hands on approach when it comes taking their business to greater heights. They believe that SME owners should have complete knowledge or insight of every department of their business. They apply their philosophy to work every day and are truly the driving force behind it. They take pride in being involved in food direction, business development and expansion on end, to the brand direction, marketing, and customer experience. They both have different strengths and weaknesses and it’s only when they buckle down and push forward together, that they’re at their very best.
Tasty Dish, Smiling Clients
Tandem Collective an industry focused on the consumer end, so this question might not be the most applicable to them. Nonetheless, the franchise model that they’ve recently developed has had multiple takers in the brief few months that they’ve been ready, and they believe that Tandem Collective has created a franchise model that is quick and easy to scale, with its modern, industrial design in the front of house, and lack of extravagant cooking needed in the back. Start-up costs are low in comparison to other establishments, operations are easy to scale and be executed.
The business is never exciting without a Challenge
They experienced difficulties given their young age in the initial days. They had to prove themselves in a competitive industry where veterans are twice their age. Earlier, before they had learnt the know-hows; the seniors had already established contacts with the suppliers, governmental bodies, and competitors.
Tandem Collective’s past work experience and young age shared between Vannessa and Joey, was a former food journalist and Joey’s loving sister and business partner Vannessa, a former advertising creative, definitely have helped in navigating this industry with a fresh approach.
They firmly believe that their customer passion has played a major role in their constant evolution to adapt well to a market’s needs. They’ve also been blessed to have some trustworthy aides in their team as well, who act as their eyes and ears on the ground. They have, without a doubt, played a major role in maintaining some of the highest standards in the shops, allowing the founders to pave path for a beautiful future for the company.
Future Innovations by Tandem Collective
Tandem Collective is focused on creating unique, scalable QSR concepts, and they hope that they’ll surely be able to grow one or more of them into household names locally. “The days will comes where we get to fly our local flag proudly in overseas expansions – that would be a dream” asserts Joey.