AirAsia serving its airplane meals in Kuala Lumpur restaurant
Faris Hadziq | SOPA Pictures | Getty Pictures
AirAsia group CEO Tony Fernandes is so assured the service’s Southeast Asian fare can be widespread with diners on the bottom that he’s aiming to franchise the idea internationally, with a New York outlet an final objective.
“Our dream is to have one in Occasions Sq.,” he mentioned.
The service, which pioneered the funds airline mannequin in Asia — together with charging further for meals — launched its flagship Santan and T&CO restaurant at a mall in Kuala Lumpur, marking its first foray into the retail meals enterprise.
Normal Supervisor of Santan Restaurant and T&CO Cafe, Catherine Goh, mentioned 30% of the restaurant’s menu come from AirAsia’s current in-flight menu, which incorporates classics similar to Pak Nasser’s nasi lemak, a signature Malaysian rice dish with chili condiment.
The title “Santan,” already used on AirAsia’s in-flight menus, is taken from the coconut pulp milk that could be a staple in Southeast Asian cooking.
Goh mentioned a product improvement workforce of 5 cooks and culinary arts college students took 9 months to provide you with the remainder of the menu.
“For instance, they might meet with our Philippines colleagues, who will shortlist the perfect eating places the place they may attempt the dishes and attempt to replicate the flavours,” she informed Reuters.
“As soon as they’ve developed the product they may ship it to the Filipino workforce to get their suggestions, whether or not it is genuine sufficient.”
AirAsia plans to open 5 shops this 12 months, and 100 over the following three to 5 years.
“We determined to personal a number of eating places however the greater enterprise can be franchising, actually, as a result of we really feel we need to harness younger entrepreneurial expertise across the area who wish to be a part of this enterprise,” mentioned Aireen Omar, group president of AirAsia’s non-airline subsidiary RedBeat Ventures.
Aireen mentioned AirAsia’s digital enterprise, centered on e-commerce and life-style choices, has the potential to overhaul its airline enterprise.
AirAsia launched into a diversification drive to change into an asset-light, digitally centered agency after the $1 billion sale of its leasing enterprise in March 2018.
Its non-airline companies embrace monetary providers BigPay, and journey and life-style arm AirAsia.com, which Fernandes mentioned are focused to be earnings optimistic in 2021 and subsequent 12 months, respectively.