Street stalls have a special place in the hearts of most Malaysians. Not only is the food more affordable, but sometimes it also tastes better than what you would get at a restaurant.
While many food and beverage owners may aspire to grow their business from tents and tables to physical establishments, these entrepreneurs are doing the opposite for yours. Like your peers in the industry during COVID-19, Feebay.Co’s The founders also suffered losses, as they closed their Publika store.
Although his branches on Avenue K and Sunway Nexis remained, there was still an urgency to keep his business afloat. So the team wondered, what would be a creative and profitable way to bring their coffee closer to our homes in addition to food deliveries? And then it was time for the light bulb: a roadside stand.
A roadside stall with coffee culture.
From afar, Birü looks like any other roadside stand with a big tent, coolers, etc. But what would turn heads when they approach are their espresso machines.
Unlike the typical roadside stalls, Birü serves specialty coffee, yes, the ones that are made with premium coffee beans and come with latte art.
It’s located across from Sri Hartamas Park, which was an area that once housed Podgy and the Banker, a local café that the Hartamas community missed. Realizing the neighborhood’s love of specialty coffee, it was strategic for them to bring it back for residents to enjoy.
The position is run by Feebay baristas. Co., and the espresso machines were recently purchased with the money earned from the sale of the old machines at the Publika store.
So setting up the stand didn’t cost them too much, as the only investments they had to make were for the shop and the generator, which were RM160 and RM850 respectively.
You could say that a roadside stall is not a roadside stall without the usual food wrapped in oil paper, so Birü decided to launch its first roadside food menu with Nasi Lemak.
Well, do they charge coffee prices?
Yes and no. Fried kuey teow and Singapore hoon bee were added to the menu recently, and like the Nasi Lemak, they are all RM3 per package.
You can also add other things like fried eggs, ayam goreng berempah, sambal sotong, Y rendang daging It costs around RM1 to RM5, just like other roadside posts.
However, the prices of their drinks are similar to what you would find in a cafe. Their coffee costs around RM7 to RM9, and they also have chocolate, mocha, and matcha drinks that cost around RM9 to RM12.
Not forgetting their lactose intolerant fans, they include oat, soy and almond based milk alternatives, which are RM3 extra. Those with a sweet tooth can also Gluttony Melaka, caramel and hazelnut syrups for additional RM2.
Busy like a bee
On average, they can sell between 50 and 70 Nasi Lemak packages and about 60 cups of coffee a day. However, on a good weekend, they can sell up to 120 packets of Nasi Lemak within 2 hours of opening.
The birü team shared that they have seen similar sales at the remaining Feebay outlets. Co, and that is actually a 70% drop from what they generally earn before MCO when dinners were allowed.
Preparations for these packages are made early in the morning by your chef, Aqif, who comes in at 5 a.m. M. Every day to cook fresh products. Nasi Lemakand run the post. Each day approximately 1 kg of coffee beans are brought to the stand, which is enough to fill up to 60 cups.
“Being a small booth, we are faced with the challenge of a very tedious opening and closing routine, which involves carrying heavy equipment that must be maneuvered delicately,” shared Daniel de Feebay, Co with Vulcan Post.
“The weather can also be unpredictable at times. We have been lucky that the rain has not been that strong lately, but it also means that we have to endure the hot tropical afternoons. “
Successful crowdfunding for new teams
When they started, they received feedback from nearby residents that their generator was too loud, so they crowdfunded for a new, quieter one that cost them RM5K.
“Our crowdfunding worked well and we were surprised by the positive result as customers gave us a lot of generous advice, and there were some who even donated directly to us to buy a new generator,” shared Daniel and Aqif with gratitude.
Since the machines you use to make your regular drinks depend on the generator, this can cause problems when it is out of service. On one of those days, they had to fill in the gaps with batch brewed coffee and teh tarik instead of.
So far, logistics was the main obstacle they had to overcome to get this stand up and running. Fortunately, their request for the necessary permits went smoothly, since before that they had already applied Read Sementara KL Prihatin, a temporary license issued by DBKL that allows a roadside stand to be opened for income during the MCO.
“Birü is definitely one of our most successful ideas to pivot at Feebay. Co during the MCO and if all goes well, we could expand to other neighborhoods in the future,” Daniel shared his plans with Vulcan Post.
- You can learn more about Birü by Feebay here.
- You can read about more startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Amin Fleischer of Feebay.co