Brick-Mortar-Cloud Podcast
Season 1 Episode 6:
Impacting the Little Red Dot

With Greendot

Watch the video here now!

Prefer listening? We got you covered!

From vegetarian food to vegan pastries, Greendot has it all! Not only do they provide vegetarians an alternative food source, but they also cater to mainstream consumers. Watch how Yong Hong, the CEO and co-founder of Greendot, taps into one of the more overlooked markets, and the journey and hardships behind it all!

Read the transcript here!

Hear How Greendot CEO’s Strategy in Building Employees’ Ownership to Get Better Company Growth

In this episode, the co-founder of Greendot, Yong Hong, shares insights on the brand’s growth story, its shift from niche to mainstream appeal, and efforts to offer healthier food choices. They discuss expansion plans, innovative strategies, and managing costs effectively. Throughout, they stress the importance of transparency and accountability in their approach.

The answers presented here have been summarized and simplified to make them easier to understand. For a complete and detailed explanation, we highly recommend that you watch the entire video podcast or listen to the audio podcast.

Q: Can you give us an introduction about yourself, how you started Green Dot, and how did the journey begin?

A: I began my journey with Green Dot back in 2011 during my time at a business school in the US. My friend Justin and I, both co-founders, saw an opportunity to address the limited vegetarian options available, especially in schools. This led us to start Green Dot with the vision of providing not only vegetarian choices but also catering to flexitarians and non-vegetarians. We wanted to create a brand that offered healthier alternatives without compromising taste or quality.

Q: Were you also a vegetarian when you first started? How is this vegetarian journey?

A: Interestingly, I wasn’t a vegetarian initially. I transitioned to a vegetarian lifestyle about five to six years into the Green Dot journey. This shift occurred gradually, influenced by both personal health considerations and the mission of our business. We realized the importance of offering options that appealed to a broader audience, including those who, like myself, were flexitarians. This journey has been transformative, both personally and professionally, aligning my lifestyle with the values of our brand.

Q: Green Dot has expanded from schools to quick-service restaurants and now has about 13 outlets. What’s the vision of the brand and the story behind expanding into Green Dot Plus?

A: Our vision has always been to evolve with our customers’ needs and preferences. As Green Dot grew, we recognized the opportunity to create a more comprehensive dining experience beyond our traditional outlets. Green Dot Plus represents an extension of our brand, catering not only to individuals but also to families seeking healthier options. We saw a growing demand for vegan pastries and cakes, prompting us to introduce these offerings to our menu. This expansion reflects our commitment to innovation and meeting the evolving tastes of our customers.

Q: In 2024 and beyond, do we expect to see more pastry shops from Green Dot, and what’s the vision for business expansion?

A: While we’re open to further expansion, our primary focus remains on refining our existing concepts and enhancing customer experience. Rather than rapid expansion, we aim to deepen our understanding of our target market and deliver tailored solutions. This approach allows us to stay agile in response to changing consumer preferences while maintaining the quality and integrity of our brand.

Q: What sets your business model apart from other quick-service restaurants? What’s the differentiator that Green Dot strives to provide as an experience to other people?

A: Our emphasis on balanced meals and customer-centricity sets us apart in the quick-service restaurant industry. Unlike traditional models that may prioritize speed and convenience, we prioritize health and quality. Our menu offerings are carefully curated to provide a diverse range of options, catering to various dietary preferences and lifestyles. Additionally, our transparent approach to operations, including sharing financial data with employees, fosters a sense of ownership and accountability throughout the organization.

Q: What’s one challenge you’ve overcome most recently in the last two years that you’re very proud of as a business?

A: Building a cohesive and motivated team has been a significant achievement for us. Implementing incentive systems and KPIs to foster a sense of ownership and belonging among employees has been instrumental in this regard. By aligning individual goals with organizational objectives, we’ve cultivated a culture of accountability and collaboration, driving our collective success.

Q: What’s something you didn’t expect to happen but turned out very well, an initiative you started?

A: The establishment of our vegan pastry and cakes department exceeded our expectations. Initially conceived as an experiment, the overwhelming positive response from customers validated the demand for such offerings in the market. This initiative not only expanded our product range but also attracted a new segment of health-conscious consumers, further diversifying our customer base.

Q: How do you manage food costs, especially with your direct supply relationship with farms?

A: Despite facing rising costs, our direct supply relationships with farms enable us to maintain quality while managing expenses. By forging strong partnerships with suppliers, we ensure a steady and reliable source of high-quality ingredients. Additionally, our focus on operational efficiency and waste reduction helps optimize food costs without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Q: Could you share with us your future plans and vision for Green Dot?

A: Moving forward, our vision is to deepen our understanding of customer segments and tailor our offerings accordingly. We aim to leverage data-driven insights to refine our menu, enhance customer experience, and drive sustainable growth. Furthermore, we’re exploring opportunities for expansion while remaining committed to our core values of health, sustainability, and innovation.

Q: Any final words for our listeners, maybe aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners in FNB?

A: My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry is to focus on personal growth and resilience. Embrace the journey with a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation. Remember that success is not just about accumulating wealth but also about the positive impact you create for your customers and community. Stay true to your values, prioritise people, and never lose sight of the passion that drives you forward.

, Discover How Greendot’s CEO Fosters Employee Ownership to Drive Company Growth

Inspired by vegetarian stalls in schools, Greendot serves plant-based food that caters to the masses. Now, they have over 10+ restaurants all over Singapore, with dishes ranging from mixed rice to cakes. 

Check out our other episodes too!

Season 1 Episode 5: Making Coffee Popular with Populus

Meet Yi Yang, the founder of multiple cafes specialising in coffee, such as Populus and The Apricus. Alongside our CEO Janson Seah, he shares more about the journey of establishing his new cafe. Ranging from traditional kopi found in our daily lives to gourmet and specialty coffee, his cafes cater to customers from all walks of life.
Watch Here

Season 1 Episode 1: The Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang Journey to 20+ Stores

Chief Bapak Officer Noorman Mubarak, founder of Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang, joins our CEO, Janson, on our inaugural Brick-Mortar-Cloud podcast episode and shares his inspiring origin story and insights into the world of F&B in Singapore.
Watch here

StaffAny - Made Specially for Shift Work Teams