Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP –Growing with Standpoint The Collaboration of Original Identity and Modern Food Innovation

If anyone mentions beef noodles that have become legends in Thailand and won the heart of beef lovers for more than 50 years, the name “Roddeeded” will definitely be one on the list. This article will then bring readers to the development of Roddeeded Restaurant that still maintains its original identity and quality throughout the development but creatively came up with dishes that beef lovers will enjoy. Also, this article will dig deep into their management strategy and how they beautifully manage their manpower amidst the crisis by interviewing Mr. Nop Sittichan Wutthipornkul, the second-generation owner of Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP who could be considered as the beef guru and is gifted with the ability to create new recipes and blended them perfectly with the original identity of the restaurant.


Preserving identity while promoting modernity, Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP’s specialty

Since the establishment in 1965, Roddeeded has been operating and passed down from father to children and grandchildren with each grandchild expanding their own branch of the restaurant under the name Roddeeded. Nevertheless, one of the branches that stands out among others is Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP, a classic green building located on Bantadthong Road; opposite of Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park. Nop had an intention to keep the legend of Roddeeded alive. He wanted people to remember that Roddeeded is a brand that grows together with Thai society, is well-known for their beef and the founder was his father. Therefore, the very first thing that customers will see when they set their foot inside the restaurant is the photo of Nop’s father and there are 3 secret recipes that his father sold before the restaurant became Roddeeded which are sukiyaki, curry, and stew. Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP, thus, sells these dishes. However, Nop wanted customers to experience the identity of the original Roddeeded, so the restaurant still has noodles as their main dish with an even more meticulous method of preparing and they started to use technology in food preparation to ensure a better taste.

The restaurant opened on 14 February 2020, Valentine’s Day. It was opened not long before Covid-19 struck. At that time, Nop was having fun promoting dishes of his restaurant and received positive feedback from customers. His business was going well and was really famous on social media platforms. The restaurant had become a premium noodle place with an adjustment in the menu, making them more modern. Many customers came to check in because the place beautifully stood out with a mix of ancient, classic style, and modern styles. The material used for containers is celadon from Sukhothai that gives classic Thai and modern vibes at the same time. It could be said that the grand opening was done beautifully because it met the demands with a variety of dishes that could serve all groups of customers and interior decoration that is suitable for shooting photos to post on social media platforms.

Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP and other branches under it have no chef. Nop was the one who created all the menus that everybody was wondering which culinary institution Nop studied from. However, in reality, all ideas came from Nop observing his parents cooking since he was young and cooking just seeped through his veins naturally. Cooking occurred to him naturally without attending any courses with a teaching position in culinary at Matichon Academy. Nop said jokingly about how his talent in cooking came about. He said that one day, his mother told him to put pepper in the cooking pot, but he put five-spice powder instead. So, his mother knocked his head with a ladle to punish him. It might be that moment that Heaven pitied him and gave him the talent in cooking. Nop placed importance on food pricing, especially during the Covid-19 Crisis. He wanted the price to be affordable for high-quality food. At the same time, he wanted to respect customers with more buying power. Thus, he provided premium-grade food for specific target groups with more buying power as an option in order to keep both groups of customers.

Nowadays, Roddeeded by KHUN NOP has altogether 5 branches which are Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP, Roddeeded Sam Yan, Roddeeded Yakiniku, Roddeeded the SteakHouse, and Roddeeded Chaloem Phrakiat in which all dishes of every branch were created by Nop.

Presenting Thai ingredient, omitting middleman, and using the best ingredients sent directly from farmers

Nop emphasised that all ingredients used in the restaurant were from Thai agriculturalists. The beef came from farmers who raised cows in Buriram. Thai beef is actually second to none in the world. Thai beef has a marvelous taste because the food that cows consumed is nutritious. Also, Thai beef is leaner than of Japanese beef with much more fats that it could be too oily if consumed in large quantities. Beef that is used in noodles was traded by contact farming. There is no official contract, but a trust system between cow raisers and restaurant owners in which the cows used are Angus mixed-breed from Smile Beef Company. When they work together, they then establish a triad structure system that consists of the restaurant (consumer) that brings about feedback on the taste and quality of the meat to the farmers. The farmers will take on the challenges through Thailand’s leading beef specialists. They will work together from a selection of breed, food, nurture as well as the duration of raising that farmers will have to be sufficiently rewarded. Middlemen will be eliminated and restaurants will trade directly with farmers. This allows ingredients to be purchased at lower prices and steak served to be packed with quality and affordable in price. Nop has become an example that many other restaurants take after.

All ingredients are found in Thailand but dishes will be the fusion of different Japanese and Chinese cooking styles with Thai ingredients. For example, Hamburg that has an appearance of Japanese dish, but all curry ingredients are made in Thailand.

Fish sauce that the restaurant used is really special. Nop shared that there is a factory that Roddeeded is in debt to because they manufactured fish sauce especially for Roddeeded which has more savoury fragrance than other fish sauce. This is because their fish sauce is fermented longer than general fish sauce and is more concentrated. This makes noodles cooked by the restaurant to be more savoury. Just pour the fish sauce into the container and it is ready to use.

With fast adaptability and good planning, even in the Covid-19 era, everything is in control

Nop said he could rapidly adapt and handled to Covid-19 situation. When the government announced the closure of restaurants in the afternoon, Nop introduced a change of policy to delivery service and take-away within 3 hours at 5 pm on the very same day and took one night of planning before posting news on social media that all restaurant branches will be changed into delivery service. Nop said that the restaurants were actually prepared in terms of hygiene even before the outbreak of the pandemic with a basin for hand washing in front of the restaurants. Apart from changing into delivery, which is still not enough, Nop had to think of how to take care of his staff as there is much staff working for the restaurants. Roddeeded did not release any of its employees but the staff got paid half of their original salary to survive together. Nop went with the method to gain less profit but to sell more so that he could have sufficient funds to support all the staff. For example, SteakHouse put the food cost as its price and pushed the price of delivery food up to 80%, meaning to say that if customers bought meat from the market to cook at home at 1 000 baht, they could order the exact dish from Roddeeded at a slightly higher price without having to cook themselves. The restaurants only asked for 20% of profit. The price of the food is reduced to make customers feel that it is worth it. The food was designed in various sets, making the dishes more compact. Customers then returned to them because the restaurants answered their demands and at that time, Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP was newly opened without any regulars. The outbreak of the pandemic helped to change the restaurant into a central kitchen with quality food and affordable price. For example, beef sukiyaki cost only 140 baht per serving with almost 2 kilograms in weight and the restaurant only gained 20 baht of profit per serving. But as long as it is enough to feed their staff, it is perfectly fine. Also, Drama-Addict Page posted the content that this restaurant really helped people. This made their sale exceeded their goal of 300 sets per day. People from different community areas would buy in bulk and sell at the price with a little more profit. Nop stressed that in times of crisis, speed and idea are significant.

In terms of communication with staff in the restaurants, Nop anticipated the situation since December. When he knew about the situation in Wuhan, he passed his order to restrict staff from entering or leaving, which means those who were overseas must not enter the restaurants and those who were within the country must not leave otherwise they would be fired. The meetings were held more frequently and hygiene was emphasized even before the announcement of lockdown. Moreover, keeping all employees allowed the restaurants to “close smooth and open smart” because with enough staff when the lockdown measure is lifted, the restaurants could immediately be reopened and with quality meat that was stored, restaurants would have enough to serve.

Roddeeded and exportation –the road to global kitchen

Nop predicted that in the following year, there will be a worldwide food shortage. Thailand is fortunate with its advantage in a geographical landscape that is suitable for agricultural activities and this allows Thailand to serve as a global kitchen. Nop prepared to build a food processing plant for export that would create chances for Thailand to present its Thai beef to the global market and introduce Thai ingredients and gain acceptance from the world. The export food is such as frozen food, pasteurized food, sausages, and a variety of dried meat which are all beef. For menus that will be exported to Japan are beef basil, green curry, stir-fried beef with chili paste, and noodles. When the central kitchen and backdoor system are ready and the economy sets off once again, Roddeeded by KHUN NOP will be expanding even more.

Besides the plan to export, now there are overseas franchise restaurants in 4 countries. Only one has already opened which is Malaysia. As for the Philippines, Laos, and Indonesia, the restaurants have yet to open as borders are still closed.

Nop also came up with a plan to efficiently use the restaurant space because when the rental fee per square meter is lower as spaces are used to their fullest, customers will be able to consume at a lower price as the cost is lower. Nop continued the story that Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP rented spaces from Chulalongkorn University. It was formerly a 4-story big restaurant with 200 square meters of area per floor. Thus, he planned to open Japanese-style restaurants. 4 stories, 4 restaurants, and 4 styles. Actually, there are 5 restaurants because he is going to import ice cream from Hokkaido and sell it on the first floor, together with Roddeeded. He will name the restaurant 4 Elements. Noodles and ice cream will be sold on the first floor. On the 4th floor, the whole story will serve as a rooftop jazz bar and izakaya with a fun Japanese temple festival theme on the 3rd floor. As for the 2nd floor, it will be a hot pot restaurant. It could be said that Nop is not only gifted in culinary but is also a creative and active businessman as well.

Variety of great dishes to win the heart of beef lovers with premium quality and affordable price

Nowadays, Roddeeded has more than just legendary beef noodles. So, many recommended quality beef dishes that are made from the best quality beef with exceptional taste that is specially created for beef lovers to try.

Beef Noodles

Noodles at Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP will be different from others in terms of appearance as it is presented in Japanese style. However, the ingredients and taste of Roddeeded are still fully preserved. The dish decoration looks beautiful and savory with sunflower sprouts. The soup is fragrant with specially fermented fish sauce and the beef is of great quality and right tenderness without being marinated.

Beef Shower

Another dish that builds reputation for the restaurant is beef shower. It is made of beef with little fats attached that went through special blanching technique that fats will not separate from the beef in hot water by gradually let the beef adjusting its temperature to the temperature of the soup. The beef remains tender and is able to preserve its fats.

Torch-burn Brisket Ramen

Japanese-style ramen topped with brisket from Angus mixed-breed cow, served with fish sauce marinated egg and sunflower sprouts. The whole dish looks savory and Japanese-like when all ingredients are made in Thailand.

Hamburg Set #CurryRoddeeded

Another best-seller dish and dish that attracts customers that took Nop 15 days to develop the recipe. It is a menu that uses all Thai ingredients but gives off Japanese vibes by using 200 grams of high-quality beef. The menu comes with a side dish, preserved vegetables and tasty curry of Thailand served together with a bowl full of Japanese rice. Customers can get a bite at an affordable price of 99 baht even Japanese customers fell in love with the dish and asked if they could buy the recipe.

Beef Basil Rice

The starting price is 95 baht. It is another well-known dish of Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP. It also uses beef from mixed-breed Angus. It is an original beef basil recipe without long beans or other vegetables served together with beautiful sunny-side-up duck egg with a crispy crust and juicy yolk.

No matter how much Roddeeded can expand, Nop said that the most important thing is to live up to the name of Roddeeded that his parents created by maintaining the quality, taste, price, and presentation. Find out how to make people remember. How to protect this legacy that was passed down from parents to children and pass it further to grandchildren. How to grow together with Thai society and be recognized overseas. How to value add for customers and for the brand. The easy secret in running a long-standing business is to love the business that one is doing and create new things to keep the business up-to-date and ready to win the heart of all generations.

Citation: SCB TV Series "Legendary Restaurants" Episode Roddeeded BAAN KHUN NOP on Facebook SCB Thailand on 21 August 2020