As the school year comes to a close we see school’s start offering new opportunities to their students. One of these opportunities is for two Seoul Foreign School students to spend a week here at shuttle. During our time here we will be taking a look at the different parts of the business, from the customer service, to the sales, and marketing teams.
Yesterday, we got a chance to call some of Shuttle’s partner restaurants and ask them a few questions. Not many of them spoke fluent english so it was more difficult for me as I can’t speak Korean. Nevertheless I managed to get a few answers out of the polite restaurant employees. Most of the questions I asked were either about the restaurants, or later on their relationship with shuttle. I wanted to know more about this as a highschool student going into their junior year without much of an idea of what they want to go into in the future I wanted to know most about what being a business entails and what helps to make a business successful. I wouldn’t consider myself the most qualified person to talk about this as someone who has next to no experience with the business world but being able to glean the information I could was really beneficial for me. It helped me think about what kind of person I want to be in the future and, if I was to go into business, what kind of business I would want to run.
The first set of calls I made was to restaurants in the Yeonhui-dong area. Most of the restaurants either didn’t pick up, had managers who were absent, or couldn’t speak english so I could only awkwardly thank them for their time and move on. As a Korean person growing up in Korea without speaking Korean I had faced these kinds of problems before, but it was painfully visible when I didn’t know how to ask if the restaurants had an english speaker that I was struggling. I was however able get a few answers from Delhi India at the start, and this helped me stay motivated for the rest of the time I called in the Yeonhui-dong area. The first thing I had wanted to know was about the people and the restaurant themselves. It was interesting to learn more about the people running the restaurants rather than just focusing on the food. Aside from those I started to want to learn more about shuttle itself and how it had affected the businesses of those it partnered with. There was a wide difference. For Delhi India shuttle seemed to have helped them gain more customers and exposure. While for Beth’s Poutine, a restaurant in the second round of calls to Itaewon, didn’t seem to have noticed any real difference in their sales from before and after they partnered with shuttle. Another interesting difference I noticed was that with larger chain companies like Halal Guys the answers given were much shorter and were relatively vague in comparison to the smaller diner like restaurants. The answers the managers were able to give were also very different. At Delhi India the manager was able to answer all the questions regarding major decisions in the restaurant like the location and genre of food. At Halal Guys the manager position was just another rung on the ladder. The person in the position had been promoted to it 4 months prior. It was interesting to see the differences between the two extremes and it helped me have a clearer view on what’s more important in a job that I would want in the future. A steady stable income with the reassurance of a franchise behind your back. Or the relative freedom that comes with starting and managing your own restaurant.