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A Story of Old and New

Located underneath a void deck, Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant has weathered the times. What stories are there to be told for this HDB restaurant?

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project timeline

The Brief

Located underneath a void deck at Bukit Merah, Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant faced a declining brand presence. While a favourite among loyal customers, the restaurant needed to reach out to a wider audience to drive continued sales and diner flow.

The challenge

How could we propel a traditional old school chinese restaurant into the limelight?

Chinese restaurants are a dime a dozen here in a chinese-majority city state. Lost were the love of chinese tastes with the masses, as glitzy $8 Avocado Coffee and Salted Egg Caramel Waffles hogged the F&B trends; while unique, and hole-in-the-wall dining concepts were the media's darling.

How could we propel a traditional, old school chinese restaurant, and reposition them to cut through the clutter?

The solution

To reintroduce Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant to the public, we decided to go ahead with a round of rebranding via public relations.

We started off by defining the uniqueness and purpose of the Ah Orh brand.

"What's so special about Ah Orh?"

That question echoed repeatedly in our heads, and was sprawled across our whiteboard.

We grilled the owners - "What's unique about Ah Orh?" They thought it was their specialty dishes, their Steamed Fish, their Cold Crab, their Pork Trotters jelly.

The food angle as a basis of a press release/media invite would be weak, we thought.

Over some chinese Pu'er tea and Uncle's own stash of Martell - we cracked it.

Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant was founded in 1919, and was in the hands of the third generation owners. Daughters, sons, and their grandchildren who stuck to a family owned business, preserving their heritage with secret recipes passed through generations. The restaurant was former situated at Ellenborough Market, behind Merchant Court, a Teochew enclave (no surprises there!) The Ellenborough Market was also known as 新巴剎, (or New Market), to the chinese migrants in the area.

"Third generation hawkerpreneurs from the original lineage of the Goh family have taken over the wok and ladle at this Teochew style seafood restaurant, with hopes that their family business will succeed the 100th year milestone and beyond. Dating back for almost a century, Ah Orh Seafood has a rich history. Established by Grandfather Ah Orh (“blackie”) back in 1919, it was a humble store previously situated at the heart of the Teochew enclave in Chinatown, before moving to its current location at Tiong Bahru, having weathered through the years where family secret recipes have been passed through generations." Read our press release.

We angled the story from a third generation hawkerpreneur story, riding on the heritage and 'Made-in-Singapore' brand of Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant.

The results

We acquired media coverage from most mainstream publications in Singapore, including ZaoBao, U-Weekly, including a front page spread in ST Life. AVE exceeded $100,000.

Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant saw a significant 20-30% increase in footfall for the subsequent month following our campaign.

Ah Orh Seafood Restaurant

115 Jalan Bukit Merah #01-1627
Singapore 160115