Name: Nay Linn
Job: Chairman (Myanmar Restaurant Association), Managing Director (Seinn Lann Kabar Co.Ltd.)
Our February edition of The Talk features Chairman of Myanmar Restaurants Association, U Nay Linn. He kindly gave his thoughts and ideas about the ever-changing restaurant scene in Yangon and what it’s like to hold such a position in a dynamic and growing restaurant world.
Question: What are your views on the restaurant scene in Myanmar today?
Answer: The number of restaurants has really grown within a few years including international restaurant chains, joint ventures and locally owned restaurants.
The pros of this are that it’s good for consumers because they have a variety of choice between local and global branded restaurants. The cons are that the consuming power nowadays is not enough and the limited local market has to be shared with an increasing number of restaurants. As far as I know, some restaurants are running on a small margin because of the high rental fees in good locations too.
Question: What changes would you like to see in the future?
Answer: The big issue we are facing is food safety and hygiene.
We need to educate all the restaurants starting from street food/small restaurants. We need to have a proper training program for restaurant owners to have safe and high-quality food where tourists and even local can consume safely. The more international food chains coming in, the more competitive the restaurant industry is. As a result, the local-owned restaurants will have to change their way of cooking, serving, customer service skills, hygiene and sanitation, standardizing to meet international level and this will improve the restaurant industry.
Question: What do you love about your job?
Answer: As a restaurant owner, when customers love our food and we see the satisfaction in their faces, I can’t even express how good the feeling I get is. As for an active member of MRA, I love to contribute my time and effort so we can become a strong and well-organized association. We’ve done many successful programs like a two-month catering service during the 27th SEA Games, a Service Training Program for restaurants in collaboration with a Japanese organization, MRA members visit to Japan and Thailand’s most famous restaurant’s kitchens and many competitions to promote our local dishes.
Question: What do you dislike about your job?
Answer: Being a restaurant owner, it is daily management. I have to check all the products randomly before they are served to customers.
As for a Chairman of MRA, I have to spare lots of my time since the Association is moving forward with high momentum. My schedule is full and we have meetings almost every day.
Question: What is your favourite Myanmar dish?
Answer: Pone yay gyi and mohinga.
Question: What is your favourite restaurant?
Answer: Any place which serves good food ;)