Shivashish Pandey comes with over 20 years of professional experience; he most recently served as the Director & CEO at Fast Food Indonesia, which owns and operates KFC Indonesia. Shivashish is currently pursuing the coveted ‘Advanced Management Program’ at Harvard Business School.
He has previously served as Director in Korpindo Konsultansi, Jakarta, and as the head of finance at Perkasa Engineering Group. He is a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, and a Certified Management Accountant from The Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Australia. Shivashish also holds an MBA from Mount Eliza Business School from Australia.
In conversation With Shivashish Pandey, Former Director & CEO, KFC Indonesia
In an exclusive conversation with The Restaurant Times, Shivashish Pandey, Former Director & CEO at Fast Food Indonesia that operates KFC Indonesia, shares insights on how the brand has been successful in offering exceptional dining and delivery experience.
Note for readers: This series was recorded when Shivashish held the position of Director & CEO at KFC Indonesia.
Digitization In The Restaurant Space
Shivashish Pandey has been working with KFC Indonesia for eight years and has held positions as advisor to the board, CEO, and board member. He feels that the team is ready to conquer any challenges without his assistance and is taking some time off to gain more knowledge in the field by taking an advanced management course offered by Harvard Business School.
Amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Shivashish shares how technology and digital transformation have evolved. He emphasizes the importance of his staff and the people that are involved in making people happy. He further adds, “I think the heart and the soul of any restaurant, whether it’s a quick-service restaurant, casual dining, or fine dining, remains in the back of the house.”
Digitization when it reaches the back end of one’s restaurant where the cooking, assembling, and packaging happens, then any restaurant owner has struck gold. KFC Indonesia’s 80% of orders used to be either dine-in or take away with over 18% off-premise through aggregators before covid. The pandemic has changed many things including the mix of on-premise and off-premise transactions.
Digital developments have helped the brand during such changing times. With the introduction of, KFC application, self-ordering kiosks, and deep-link integration with aggregators, all orders are directly routed to the restaurants through the OMS (Order Management System). The drive for digitization has also enabled restaurant operations to migrate from manual to digital compliance checklists for food safety, food quality, equipment maintenance, and calibration.
He also believes in the digital wave that accelerates data transformation or the data analysis relayed back from the restaurants. It is important to organize them and analyze them; they are of no use without that. Digital assets of KFC like self-ordering kiosks, which is the screen that helps to order without human-to-human interaction, and an app feature called pay and pick eliminates human contact (contactless) so the customers would be safe, and customers do not have to stand in the queue to place their orders.
Human Touch in a Contactless World
Shivashish believes that the team members in the restaurant are the ambassadors of the brand facilities, with whom the customers regularly interact. They can safely promote contact-less ordering by educating guests in trying out the digital ordering experience and loop in their feedback. He is a firm believer in simplicity, especially when it comes to the creation of digital assets. It should be easy to use, simple, and must offer a feedback mechanism.
KFC is known for its good quality, freshly prepared products, and food safety. The brand has strict protocols that are to be followed and kept under continuous monitoring. Such strict protocols combined with digital assets/ contactless ordering ensure full safety.
Crediting The “Biggest Assets” of A Restaurant Business
After the COVID 19 pandemic, the restaurant industry has changed from head to toe. People who prepare and serve food have always been the heart and soul of any restaurant. It is the responsibility of the management and team members to ensure that the people who work with the brand stay safe and secure. Shivashish says that companies and employees that give credit to their people and take care of them are the ones who will continue to survive post-pandemic.
KFC Indonesia believes that people are the strongest pillars of the organization, and without them, the organization is worth nothing. They have several programs that recognize their team members in the restaurant who work day in day out. Shivashish believes that they are the real champions who make the brand stronger. The 40-year-old successful journey that the company has had was only possible because of the mutual care between employees and the company.
Whether it was drive-throughs or deliveries, our team members were there in the restaurant, frying chickens for people who wanted to place orders. It’s a big commitment from the team members; it’s a big commitment and sacrifice from the families of the team members.
Protecting their people was their number one priority. They provided all resources needed to ensure the protection of staff working every day to serve people.
“Our main focus was to make sure that our team members are safe. Once our team members were safe, we were sure that our customers would be delivered safe products.”
Once the vaccines were out and being supplied, their vaccination drive began. The company made sure to provide maximum coordination and support for the availability of vaccinations for their employees.
A Message To The Upcoming Restaurateurs
Shivashish concludes the insightful session by giving some advice to young entrepreneurs who wish to open their restaurants in the future. He highlights two points that every restaurant owner should take into consideration; food quality and food safety. If the food that you are serving is good and safe to consume, it doesn’t matter if it’s on a gold platter or not. People will come back to your restaurant nonetheless. He also mentions that the location is an important factor, as well as the USP, is. Ask yourself why you are selling the product or what is the unique selling point of it.
Passion is what drives a person to excel. You need to have a passion in this industry. This is a difficult industry/ business, but it’s a lovely industry to work in. At the end of the day, as a restaurant owner, you have to ask yourself if you are passionate enough to open a restaurant and continue it for more than just one year.