Can Nasi Padang Take Over McDonald’s?


Cheap and delicious, does Nasi Padang have what it takes to take over McDonalds? Find out more about insights and potentials that Padang restaurants have to go global. Huge array of food served in typical Padang restaurants. For some people, food should be cheap, delicious and is served in big portion. Not an easy combination, but it is not impossible. Indonesians, for example, will immediately associate those adjectives with Nasi Padang (nickname for food from Padang Restaurant or Restoran Padang). Despite selling Minang ethnics food, Padang restaurants appeals to people from various backgrounds. You may find some of their popular menu familiar, such as ayam pop and rendang. Originating from Minang, IndonesiaÕs Sumatra, Padang restaurant can be found easily all across Indonesia, and they have been expanding abroad although they donÕt necessarily come from one restaurant chain. Nevertheless, they share similar business model. An ex-employee at a Padang Restaurant, Sutan Pamenan, and citizen journalist Gus Kajung shared their knowledge on Resto Padangs management. Financial transparency and profit sharing makes Padang restaurant unique. With that system, investors and/or owners regard their employees as partners. After all, employees are paid based on the restaurants profit.Each employee gathers points, which will be accumulated and exchanged with money every 100 days. Highest point is given to the chefs, as they are the decision makers. Generally, the team consists of capital owners, chefs and assistant chefs (in charge of cooking and planning the grocery shopping), toke (grocery shopping and making financial reports), tukang sanduak (plating food), bahagian tengah (delivering food to customers and sending dirty dishes to the kitchen), dishwashers and cashiers. Every night, the team counts their income. Based on that days income, the chefs will decide what and how much ingredients they will buy the following day. Then, every 100 days or 3 months, they will count how much net income they can get. Depends on negotiation, investors usually receive 30 percent. The rest is divided based on percentage 25 percent is given to chefs, 20 percent for toke, 15 percent for tukang sanduak, 15 percent for bahagian tengah, 15 percent for dishwashers and 10 percent for cashiers. On the same day, they will also evaluate the performance of every team member. Everyone is free to speak up their mind. Then, the decision to fire a bad employee is made together, unlike the usual case where the investors and executive board are the decision makers. The system creates a sense of belonging for each employee, driving them to work even harder for the sake of the restaurant. Besides, their wages are decided by the restaurants profit. Thanks to highly motivated workers, Padang restaurants is famous for giving quick service. This system has indeed been applied since a long time ago, before Western restaurants make their way into Indonesia. Surprisingly, Padang restaurants management system is somewhat similar with famous restaurants system, such as McDonalds. McDonalds has a profit sharing and savings plans that lets employees further build ownership and reinvest in the company. While McDonalds sell fast food, Padang restaurants products are slow food that are all ready-to-be-served. They are both affordable and somewhat unhealthy  Padang restaurants food are cooked with coconut milk thus making it quite high in cholesterol. In a way, similar to McD, Padang restaurant is a cultural icon. Padang restaurant represents cheap, delicious-but-not-so-healthy big portioned food. It certainly go up head-to-head with McDonalds, which is the icon of USA, of delicious-but-unhealthy junk food and hang out place, with their 24/7 services and free wifi. Padang restaurants have a competitive edge on the menu offering as well.One of the usual menu in Padang restaurants, rendang, has been nominated as worlds most delicious food and is being used as burgers patty even by famous brands such as McD and Burger King. Combined with its managerial system, it can certainly compete globally. There are even Padang restaurants which are successful in various countries such as Singapore, USA and China. With the right support system, Padang restaurants can certainly shine on the global stage.