* Date : 2014-08-26
OH Chung inherited the family-owned restaurant chain specializing in seolleongtang (ox bone soup) at the age of 26. In order to earn the employees' respect and to raise the standard, he introduced innovative business strategies and management systems, which later contributed to the surge in revenue. He not only introduced employee uniforms, but he was the one who proposed the idea to offer take-outs in sealed containers, which was a first in the food service industry of Korea. He also established an in-house factory for the 5 restaurant branches, and helped the franchise business grow to a major food service provider generating US$ 100 million in revenue a year.
Despite the huge success, he didn't fall complacent. Instead, he opened high-end Korean table d'hote restaurants called Siwhadam in Itaewon and Insa-dong to contribute to the globalization of Korean cuisine. It took him 10 years to prepare for their opening, deciding on a unique concept and developing new menu items that were authentic yet modern.
His efforts were not in vain. Siwhadam gained recognition as the first restaurant in Korea to accepted as a member of Relais & Chateau, an international association of the world's finest hotels and restaurants. He was also asked to be in charge of catering the VIP dinner held to commemorate the presidential inauguration of PARK Geun-hye.
Despite its global recognition, Siwhadam has suffered deficits. But this isn't stopping OH Chung from continuing his efforts to globalize Korean cuisine and promote it worldwide through this restaurant. He says that this is a way of giving back to society to show his appreciation for all the patrons who have been coming to his seolleongtang restaurants.
Learn about one man's incredible journey toward globalizing Korean cuisine on The INNERview!