There’s no athlete that doesn’t want to be a champion. Sports aficionado and sports bar manager Tak talks about how he merged sportsmanship into his business and everyday life with his team.
Tak is originally from Dongguan, but was born in Hong Kong, and studied and worked in food and beverage in Australia. Now he manages a sports-themed restaurant in Dongguan. Tracing back to his previous days, it’s as if there was an invisible line leading him back home for his business, destined in some way.
A-ONE, a sports-themed restaurant, is now Tak’s new venture in Dongguan besides his finance business in Hong Kong. “A” means “the best” and “ONE” means “ranking the No. 1.” Obviously, the goal behind this name is pretty clear.
The idea to run a restaurant in Dongguan doesn’t usually come from waiting in front of a traffic light or sitting in a daze, but from huge circumspective observations from daily life. Tak studied and worked in Australia for almost eight years. As for what he had seen overseas, he believed that for most foreigners, dining is not only for the purpose of filling one’s stomach but more for an experience, and not many Chinese consider it the same so far. Hearing and seeing China’s development in this circumstance, Tak noticed that people have definitely started pursuing a better-quality life. He became aware of the potential market in mainland China, realizing that he could be the one to bring a taste of authentic western culture back home, based on his overseas experience. As food is a daily necessity both in the west and the east, he chose to run a restaurant as the intermediary link, bringing the east and west together.
For all kinds of sports, no matter if you are one of the players or just an audience, you will desire to win. I think this feeling is amazing, it shows you have standards for yourself; this part is similar to our restaurant culture.
Having an idea was only the first step, to put it into action needed more preparation. In order to push A-ONE to the top, Tak attended a business course in Sun Yat-sen University with other successful businessmen to enrich himself and build relationships. His smart thinking also considered the fact that the original style from foreign culture would not wholly cater Dongguan completely, therefore, two of his team members, local staff, offer their input on what is right for the business.
As a group of sports fanatics, it’s not surprising that Tak and his team have accumulated more than enough elements in the sports bar: around 30 big screen TVs and two 130-inch projector screens showed their great value during the World Cup; sporty ornaments including team jerseys and flags representing different teams; a photo wall of various signature photos from famous players; real basketballs, American footballs, tennis balls and so on around the space; air hockey, Foosball, pool table, and more games for family fun. Across two levels and 600 square meters, Tak and his team have been trying their best to create a genuine sporty atmosphere for their customers.
Sports is not only an interest for Tak, but also inspires him while managing A-ONE. He described how they’re related: “For all kinds of sports, no matter if you are one of the players or just an audience, you will desire to win. I think this feeling is amazing, it shows you have standards for yourself; this part is similar to our restaurant culture. We set up different requirements for different areas of A-ONE and we keep making improvements.” Besides that, he also mentioned that it’s unrealistic to run a place so large by himself, so teamwork is very important. “I learned ‘teamwork’ from sports. Even for someone playing single tennis where it looks like he is playing just by himself, actually, there is a whole team behind him. ‘Teamwork’ is another element that I emphasize in our restaurant culture,” he commented.
A certain amount of people know A-ONE due to the World Cup. Tak feels excited to have a place for people from all around the globe, of different ages and cultures, gathering and sharing in good spirits. In the future, they are planning something new including the launch of a brand-new menu, crossover with local sports associations, cooperation with charities, and more.