We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennie Yip Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After working in hotel food and beverage for several years at the Royalton Hotel in NYC, I was asked by owners Brian McNally and Ian Schrager to move to Miami Beach to launch the Delano Hotel’s opening. Just during that small window of time, I got a glimpse of behind the scenes of developing a one of a kind project from scratch and working collaboratively with key players to create a magical destination. From this experience and years of managing, I formed Jenjuice Hospitality in 1996 to offer. My services to clients who want to create one of a kind projects from concept development, kitchen planning, curating OS&E to staff recruitment to business strategy. Fast forward summer 2020; I started Restaurant Startup Business, where I coach chefs and entrepreneurs on how to start their own food service business from kitchen planning, sourcing, social media marketing, menu assessment to mobile pitch decks.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After almost 30 years in the hospitality business, I still love it. Luckily it’s been a versatile career from managing, owning, and launching one of a kind projects with international hoteliers, designers, developers, and chefs. With this experience, what sets me apart from the others in the industry is my visual process of creating concepts, the hands-on approach, and the relationships I have with international creatives making every project unique. My projects have only been through referrals, and only now, in 2020, I am learning to become more visible online and reach people around the world virtually. I haven’t had challenges in my career. I have always been one of the few women in the hospitality industry, always been referred for jobs/projects through male chefs, hoteliers, and developers. I’ve learned that my vision is unique and strong and that someone out here, meaning clients, whats my expertise and experience for the project. After 30 years of business, people trust Jenjuice Hospitality for originality, creative concepts, a twist n design, and known for their strong collaborative network around the work.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Here’s a typical itinerary for out-of-towners. Morning breakfast -Oddfellows in Bishop Arts -Flying Fish as a Dallas institution -Potpourri Boulangerie for high tea -Village Baking Company for bread -Taqueria El Si Hay in Oak Cliff for no-frills tacos Lunch -Flower Child -99 Ranch for dim sum -Bilad for Iranian food – Mitsuwa Japanese Mall for ramen and Japanese dishes – Mercat Bistro in Harwood -86 Degree Bakery for Chinese baked goods and bubble tea -Kmart Grocery sTore Dinner -Hillstone in Preston Center -Al Biernat Steakhouse – Sensai -Uchi for sushi -Spice N’Rice for Indian -Yardbird for fried Chicken -Montlake Cut -Pie Tap -Koryo Kalbi Korean BBQ Drinks -Deep Elm -Bishops Arts -Happiest Hour Quick Day Drive – Austin for lunch at Josephine House, walk Congress Street, Shop along Burnet Road Ave and head back – Roundtop, Texas, for the Fair – Snow’s BBQ in Lexington, Texas – Magnolia’s enterprise in Waco -McKinney, Texas for small-town fun See -Fort Worth Zoo -Perot Museum with kids -Bike ride on trails around Dallas -Klyde Warren Park games with kids -music at Bomb Factory, House of Blues, American Arena
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being an Asian woman in the hospitality industry in the early 1990s in New York City was not very common. I was fortunate to have a few mentors along the way who believed in my passion for learning, hard work, pushed me to excel, and give me opportunities every step of the way. Hotelier Ian Schrager who taught me to take risks, believe in my own vision, and take the road less traveled, as he does. Designer Christian Liaigre showed me how good design accompanies good food and how space teaches us to fully present. He thoroughly toured, explained, and showed me his many Paris projects and his process behind them all. Restauranteur Jonathan Morr taught me about good service and allowed me to partner and collaborate like equals and share a passion for good food. Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten taught me the appreciation of good food, gastronomy culture at its best, and that consistency pays off. Lighting designer Arnold Chan who became my brother in the industry who taught me about international design, food, chefs, collaborators, and doing good work for the world to see.
Website: https://www.jenjuicehospitality.com and https://www.startup.restaurant
Instagram: @jenjuicehospitality @restaurant.startup
Other: Join my FAcebook group if you want to start your food service concept https://www.facebook.com/groups/thefuturerestaurantpreneur/?multi_permalinks=948326449011404¬if_id=1602907081000172¬if_t=feedback_reaction_generic&ref=notif Download a workbook to start https://www.startup.restaurant/resourcesfreebieand
Photography Credit Nikolas Koenig Permisison by Andre Balazs Properties Ian Schrager Company