26-year-old woman quits 'dream job' at Apple to open Korean BBQ restaurant with her mum
Not many people would give up their dream job to go out on a limb to open a restaurant, but that is what 26-year-old Ryu Jiah did.
When she shared in a TikTok video how she quit her job at Apple to open Charim Korean BBQ with her mum at Tanjong Pagar, it resonated with netizens and soon went viral.
It has since garnered over 366,000 views.
@charimsg I am so grateful for your support last one month though 🥺 #story ♬ original sound - CHARIMsg
Ryu, who is Korean and has been living in Singapore for the past eight years, shared with Stomp that opening a restaurant has always been her mother's dream.
"She had been working in a Korean restaurant as a chef for years," she said.
"She loves Korean cuisine, and has her unique and amazing Korean food recipes that she would love for more people to try!
"I wanted to help my mum's restaurant as much as possible as I have faith in her food, and I know it is her lifetime dream."
Since her mother is in charge of the kitchen, Ryu manages the customer service as well as accounting, ordering, marketing and stock management, among other responsibilities.
"I would not be able to manage all this while working full-time at Apple," she said.
"We could have hired someone else but we believe the owner's presence is important when it comes to managing service quality."
Although opening a new restaurant during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had its challenges, Ryu said she is touched by the support they have received.
"Not long after we opened, there was the government restriction of two people dining together that greatly impacted our business right after," she said.
Two weeks after the announcement, Ryu said things became "very quiet", and both mother and daughter got very worried.
Fortunately, business has since picked up.
"It has been tiring as F&B work is challenging. But whenever our customers come back and tell us that they enjoyed our food and time at our restaurant, it feels like everything has paid off.
"There was a customer who mentioned that he has been missing Korean food as he can't travel to Korea due to Covid-19 but found the food at Charim authentic and comforting."
Ryu said many went to the restaurant to support them after the TikTok video went viral.
"We have been receiving many encouraging comments and messages," she said.
"We are really grateful."