Road stops have a special place in the heart of most Malaysians. The food is not only more affordable, but sometimes tastes better than what you would get in the restaurant.
While many F&B owners may aspire to grow their business, from tents and tables to bricks, these entrepreneurs do just the opposite for theirs. Like its industry peers during COVID-19, Feebay.Co’s the founders also had their share of losses as they closed their Publika outlet.
Although their offices were maintained on K Avenue and Sunway Nexis, there was still an urgency to keep their business afloat. So the team wondered: what would be a creative and cost-effective way to bring your coffee shop closer to our homes apart from the foodies? And then came its light bulb moment: a stop on the road.
A stop on the road with cafeteria culture
From afar a looks like any other stop on the road with a big tent, fridges and so on. But what would catch your eye when you approach are their express machines.
Unlike typical road stops, the birú serves special coffee, yes, those made from premium coffee beans and include latte.
It is located in front of Sri Hartamas Park, which was an area that once housed Podgy and the Banker, a local cafe that the Hartamas community missed. Realizing the neighborhood’s love for special coffee, it was only strategic for them to reclaim it to enjoy the residents.
The booth is managed by Feebay.Co baristas, and the espresso machines are recently bought with the money earned from the sale of the old machines from the Publika store.
Therefore, the installation of the stop did not cost them too much, as the only investments they had to make were for the tent and the generator, which were RM160 and RM850 respectively.
You could say that a stop on the road is not a stop on the road without the usual meals wrapped in oil paper, so Birü decided to start his first menu of meals on the road with nasi lemak.
Well, do they charge cafeteria prices?
Yes and no. Fried flat rice noodles and Singapore bee hoon have been added to the menu recently and, like nasi lemak, are all RM3 per package.
You can also add other things like fried eggs, spicy fried chicken, squid sauce, i beef rendang which cost between RM1 and RM5, as at other road stops.
However, their drink prices are similar to what you might find in a coffee shop. Their coffee ranges from RM7 to 9, and they also have chocolate, mocha and matcha drinks, which range from RM9 to 12.
Not to mention their lactose intolerant fans, they include milk alternatives based on oats, soy and almonds, which are an additional RM3. Sweet teeth can also be obtained Palm sugar, caramel and hazelnut syrups for an additional RM2.
Busy as a bee
On average, they can sell for about 50-70 nasi lemak packages and about 60 cups of coffee a day. On a good weekend, however, they can sell up to 120 packs of nasi lemak within 2 hours after opening.
The biru team has shared that it has seen similar sales to the rest of Feebay.Co’s outlets, and that it actually drops 70% of what they usually earn before the MCO when dinners were allowed.
The preparations for these packages are made in the early hours of the morning by their chef, Aqif, who enters at 5:00 daily to cook the fresh nasi lemak, and operates the stop. Approximately 1 kg of coffee beans are brought to the stand each day, which is enough to fill up to 60 cups.
Daniel, of Feebay.Co, shared with Vulcan Post: “Because it’s a small stand, we have a very tedious opening and closing routine that involves carrying heavy equipment that has to be maneuvered delicately.”
“The weather can also be unpredictable. We’ve been lucky that the rain hasn’t been so bad lately, but it also means we have to endure tropical and hot afternoons. “
Successful crowdfunding for new equipment
When they first started, they received feedback from nearby residents that their generator was a little too noisy, so they funded it en masse to get a new, quieter one that cost them RM5K.
“Our crowdfunding went well and we were surprised by the positive result, as customers gave us a lot of generous advice, and there were some who even gave us directly to buy a new generator,” they shared grateful Daniel and Aqif.
Because the machines used to make your usual drinks are based on the generator, this can cause problems when using the service. One of these days, they had to fill the gaps with brewed coffee and you stretched However.
Until now, logistics was the main hurdle they had to overcome to start this stand. Fortunately, their application for the necessary permits was smooth, as they had previously applied for KL’s temporary license is a concern, a temporary license issued by DBKL that allows you to open a stop on the road to earn income during MCO.
“Birü is definitely one of our most successful ideas to pivot on Feebay.Co during the MCO and if all goes well, we could expand to other neighborhoods in the future,” Daniel shared with Vulcan Post.
- You can find more information about birü at Feebay here.
- You can read about more startups we’ve covered here.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Amin Fleischer of Feebay.co