THE THAI HUT CO – Thai, that one Asian favourite that never goes out of fashion
Clint was born in Cape Town and his wife Sutthinee was born in Sukhothai in Northern Thailand. Clint went to the “University of Hard Knocks” and joined the ranks of the working world as soon as he finished school. He gained experience as a Food & Beverage Manager and was attracted to the allure of American dollars on the Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruise liners in 2000.
Here he met his life partner Sutthinee. They returned to Cape Town and together they gave the cut throat world of first time entrepreneurship a go. They opened their first Asian Take Away which failed due to their lack of experience and thus they were forced to close shop. But life and bills continue so they headed back off again to the USA where they worked in Country Clubs in New York and Florida to build up capital again.
Reality is that statistics prove that small businesses only have a 20% chance of success second time around and the failure rate is up to 50% in the first year. This did not deter them. They were older, wiser, more experienced and this time on returning to Cape Town they started with a knowing that small overheads are essential in the beginning. Somewhat fearful from the past experience, they opted for the smallest and furthest stand from the natural footfall within the market. Those first two years were difficult but they grew steadily and today they can boast that they have a loyal following of customers, who ensure the sustainability of The Thai Hut Co. They continue to expand and are cautiously
taking on a Takeaway outlet close to their home, as well as the acquisition of a food truck to service the events industry.
Today their business employs 12 staff members, all with South African BEE status. They could easily employ Asian chefs but they prefer to support the local community who are trained by Sutthinee. But don’t be fooled. Even if Sutthinee is not there, her loyal African chefs cook those traditional Asian Thai dishes to absolute perfection. Thai Red & Green Curries on Jasmine Rice, Pad Thai, Chow Mein, Stir-fry, Dim sum, Spring rolls and Sushi are on offer. They believe that consistency is the key to success and have certainly proved that by never giving up that one can do it.
He claims that to keep motivated you need to find daily mantras to repeat to yourself. His favourite is, “Does anybody remember the person who gave up and was unsuccessful. The answer is No! But do they remember the person that is a success, who owns a big home and five cars. The answer is Yes!”
We share the excitement with you, Clint, and can vouch that the struggle was real but you have proven to all of us that through determination, the odds can be beaten.
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