Updated: Jul 3, 2020
Keith and his wife Jeanne are the Founders of Keef the Beef, a local Singaporean company that delivers grilled quality steakhouse beef to homes. They strive to prepare the best ribeyes with science and love. They left their corporate jobs before making the jump into F&B. Keith and Jeanne are proud parents of two daughters.
Keith and Jeanne
The responses below were provided by Keith.
1. Why did you decide to set up a steak business, and what is the vision for your business?
I have always been passionate about steaks, I have been testing and searching for the perfect steak for 15 years! After leaving my previous job and being in limbo about what to do, I received requests for my steaks and thought why not? I want to change the mindsets of steak lovers. They believe they can only have a good steak at a restaurant. We have developed a system that keeps the steak warm (if you have it within 10 mins of delivery). In fact, because we sealed the steak in during delivery, the juices are all absorbed back into the steak creating a more juicy and flavourful experience, without compromising on the doneness.
2. Of all the different types of steaks, which would you say is your favourite cut?
I love the rib cap on the ribeye. To me, that’s the pearl in the ocean.
3. Did you face any resistance from your family/friends when you decided to start your steak business?
Nope, in fact, they were very supportive, helping with my orders and suggesting marketing ideas! The struggle that I faced was always a mental one where I had to access if the F&B scene was going to go back to normal after COVID and if the demand would drop drastically or has the consumers' preference moved in my favour. As of now, the demand for home dining is still really high.
4. Has your lifestyle undergone any changes after you started your own restaurant?
Yes! People want to eat my steaks on my off day (Monday) and they get upset when I close, especially after many customers post their meals over the weekend on social media.
5. You took a great leap of faith, jumping from sales to restaurant management. What were some of the challenges you faced?
As a sales head, we were always gunning for the top line, pressing for bigger budgets, now as a business owner, the bottom line is just as important in the decision-making process. I have a more complete view of business right now.
I really took for granted how much work goes into each dish in a restaurant. The meals are prepared with hours of R&D before it is ready to be served. F&B was totally greenfield to me, cooking for a party and cooking for 100 pax requires different processes and systems. I am also glad that my business did not boom overnight that gave me time to scale the orders slowly.
6. How has the pandemic affected your business?
Keef the Beef is a COVID business (we only started in May 2020)! Hence my logo, the duck. This represents us Singaporeans peddling our feet as fast as we can below the water, yet above the water there is calm solidarity that we choose to hold on to. Because we know that if we want to overcome, we need one another.
7. What are your thoughts on plant-based meats (w/ regard to environmental sustainability), and do you think it will affect your business?
The perfect steak comes back to you like the memory of a childhood friend, just like how you can remember all the details you did together as a kid, you can also clearly taste its detailed flavours on your palette just by the memory of it. Meat people will be meat people. I am all for best practices and responsible business that is why I chose the cattle from a specific union that selects its cattle from smaller farms which protects the farmers and the way the cattle is bred.
8. And finally - do you have anything to say to people who want their steak well-done?
Great question! At that doneness, you can’t really differentiate the quality of the steak, so what will help is if you request for a fattier piece! At least you will enjoy the fats rendered down well.