Magical Encounters: Jaz Tan, Women Entrepreneur Awards (WEA) 2018 Stellar Category Winner

Jaz Tan is a WEA Stellar Category Winner for 2018. Stepping out of her auditor background, she fearlessly opened Platform 1094 in 2016, a hole-in-the-wall theme cafe sandwiched in Serangoon Road, Singapore. The cafe caters to a niche market of wizardry enthusiasts and gets honest about its mission to be a renowned global hospitality group, creating valuable memories for its employees and the society at large. 

 

“If I find myself stuck in something, I would change my approach, and I accept criticism. For me, it’s important to be flexible but to remain focused and committed to my decisions.”

 

Platform 1094 is a gorgeous, cosy themed café housed in a corner shophouse unit that sits on Serangoon Road. Founded by Jaz Tan in 2016, the company strives to be the best in its field and to become a renowned global hospitality group.

In keeping with its mission to create awesome and valuable experiences for employees, customers and society, Platform 1094 is committed to delivering a food and dining experience that sets it apart from its peers. Dishing out Asian fusion cuisine, it challenges the norms and redefines traditions for customers. Through its experiential dining, customers’ experiences are not just defined by the food and drinks, but also by a completely immersive affair in a fun, engaging and novel theme.

Fans of the world of wizardry and high fantasy would be delighted to know that Singapore has its own wizard-themed café in the form of Platform 1094. Sited on Serangoon Road, the themed dining outfit is decked out with elements inspired by a wizardry school — think gorgeous chandeliers, pointy hats, long black coats and a mystical-looking mural of a deer.

The casual eatery is headed by founder Jaz Tan, who herself is an ardent fan of wizardry and magic. Though not possessing prior experience in running F&B establishments, the 33-year-old was not daunted by the prospects of stepping out on a path of entrepreneurship in the world of casual dining. As The Thinker of the company, she assumes the role of Chief Operating Officer, where she oversees the day-to-day operations of the business.

What was your ambition growing up?

I had always wanted to be an accountant. In fact, my previous job before I started my own business was that of an auditor. At the time, I didn’t want to be anything else. But I also didn’t want my life to become a routine, so in 2014 I made the switch and founded FFL, which operates 3 restaurants. Platform 1094 was opened in 2016.

What’s the most unique characteristic of Platform 1094?

When we started the café, we wanted it to have an experiential theme where diners can walk in and have fun, be involved, dress up, play with the props and create a dream. This is something that sets our café apart.

What challenges did you face?

We had no experience in setting up the café and our resources were limited. We also weren’t entirely sure about maximising turnover rate and seating capacity, so it was a bit of a trial and error. It’s a lot better now that we have higher table turnover. The lack of manpower is a constant challenge, especially in this industry.

What does your role encompass?

I’m mainly involved in operations, managing staff and customers, product development, and menu creation. I work with our chefs to create fun and interesting dishes, and I’m also always on the lookout for innovative products that appeal to the younger crowd.

Where do you see FFL five years down the road?

My main objective now is to expand in the Southeast Asian region. Our latest project is at Jewel Changi Airport, which is scheduled to open next year.

 

The WEA 2019 is calling for submissions until 31 January 2019. Apply now and read more stories that celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of women at wea-sg.com!

Article originally published in Women Entrepreneur Awards.

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