Interview

Encouraging Diners to Savor Rangoon’s Flavors

By The Irrawaddy 25 August 2014

Since last month, Rangoon diners have been finding a smarter way to explore the commercial capital’s evolving culinary scene. With the launch of the mylifesavour diner card, members can get up to 50 percent off their bill at an array of participating restaurants and bars.

With new restaurants popping up by the month in rapidly changing Rangoon, mylifesavour’s cofounder Nom Kham talks to The Irrawaddy about her company’s attempt to inject some variety—and savings—into the lives of diners in Burma’s biggest city.

Question: What is mylifesavour’s mission and how do you choose which restaurants and bars to partner with?

Answer: The mylifesavour diner card is the first dining card launched in Myanmar. We have two objectives: The first is to encourage customers to eat out frequently,which could be beneficial to restaurants. The second one is to help our members have choices for great dining experiences at great value. Our theme is ‘good quality.’ We select our participants[restaurants and bars] based on the food they offer, ambience and their services—all have to be of good quality. We decide who we partner. In short, we want to celebrate good quality, innovation and creativity. That’s all mylifesavour is all about.

Q: How did you start mylifesavour?

A: The mylifesavour website was launched in April this year as a blog and a restaurant listing, promoting the best places to eat and drink in Rangoon. We found out that there are more than 600 restaurants in Rangoon, not including street-hawkers. We found that some are really good, some not bad and some are quite terrible. So as food lovers, we launched a blog to recommend to our readers where best to eat in Rangoon. As a result, we got positive feedback for our unbiased, independent and informative posts.

In July this year, we launched the mylifesavour diner card as we wanted to do business in Burma’s food and beverage industry. With increased tourism and foreign investment, the industry here today is very exciting. Another thing is there is a change in dining customs among local people, who are eating out more. So with the card’s offer of up to 50 percent discounted, people will be able to eat out and enjoy great dining experiences more often.

Q: How many participating businesses do you have so far?

A: We have 24 participators now. We are trying to grow our membership base. The more members we have, the more people will dine at our participating restaurants. That’s good for our partners. Plus, we are trying to expand the numbers of restaurant partners to provide our members with more choices and more value when they go out to dine.

Q: Your card partnerships are quite diverse. So who is the mylifesavour clientele?

A:Yeah, we have a variety of restaurants and bars, ranging from high-end to affordable ones. Our target audience is affluent professionals from 20 to 45 years old. However, we do provide choices of restaurants to our target audience—from a low price bracket tie, i.e quick, casual dining to expensive, fine dining. Even on our current partnership list, we have restaurants that offer quality food at affordable prices.

Q: Mylifesavour’s concept is quite novel here. Did you face any difficulties in launching it?

A: Of course we did. But we have had no complaints yet. This is because we tested out our partner restaurants before our members received their cards. Some restaurants staff had not been properly briefed. We identified these issues and ensured that all restaurants understood their obligations before our members started using their cards.

On a few occasions, some members didn’t check the website at all, so they weren’t aware of the time or day restrictions that had always been applied to a particular offer.

To avoid this, we are planning to publish the top offers from our website in hard copy. I think it will be OK over time, as the concept is still quite new here.

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