Thong Smith, A Premium Guaytiew ChainThat Is Beating Covid Blues

Thong Smith, A Premium Guaytiew ChainThat Is Beating Covid Blues
Thong Smith

Thong Smith, A Premium Guaytiew ChainThat Is Beating Covid Blues

Written by - Jackie-M

Thong Smith is a great and inspiring story on how a Thai eatery based on a popular local dish, boat noodles, but charges premium prices survives the Covid economy.

Guay Tiew Reua where Guay Tiew means noodles and Reua means boat refers to noodles, presumably from being sold off boats traditionally, when Thailand was full of canals.

Normally, bowls of boat noodles are priced at 40-60 baht while some eateries provide smaller potions at 9-12 baht.

Thong Smith’s price jump to an average price of 200 baht per plate going all the way up to over 500 per plate is a deviation from the norm to say the least.

Founded by four friends Atchara Burarak, Rojanin Arthayukti, Intira Dangchamroon and Kam Kittivech, who all agreed to focus on boat noodles, as their speciality offering, but with a difference.

Their formula worked amazingly well and their figures says it all.

In 2018, their revenue was 14.9 million baht with profits of 1.1 million baht, while in 2019, revenue shot up to 153.5 million baht with profits of 34.6 million baht!

That is quite a success story for a guaytiew shop!

Maybe their name had something to do with it. Thong means gold, like the Midas touch, everything turns into gold and Smith is a play on the Pali word that is pronounced the same way and also works in English, which means “success”. And there you are.

This of course does not hide the fact that the real reason for the team’s success is their ability to upgrade the dish in such a way that keeps the original taste that appeals to Thais with well sourced ingredients but also premium meats like Wagyu beef from Australia, ribeye and Korubuta pork.

Their attention to deatail does not stop at the ingredients. They offer 4 levels of spiciness that customers can ask for. Belief me, in Thai food it matters! Continue Reading Below ...


How did they adjust during lockdown?

Showing the flexibility of the team and the concept, they switched to relying on delivery with a unique concept of “make your own boat noodles” whereby the customer can put it together at home and have it hot.

The key was the management of the taste standardisation which had to be maintained as if it was served in the restaurant.

Post lockdown there are almost up to same level as they were before Covid minus 30% which were foreign tourists.

The queues of customer waiting outside their restaurant is slowly coming back though!