Based on data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesian people, especially those living in urban areas, are increasingly buying processed food, rather than cooking themselves at home. BPS data states that expenditures to buy processed foods - both in food stalls, supermarkets, and restaurants - grew from 29.6% in 2016 to 34% in 2018. This is supported by Nielsen's data in 2016, where 11% of the population Indonesians eat out more than once a week.

Along with this fact, more and more restaurants, restaurants and stalls have sprung up to meet the culinary needs of the community. However, the culinary business is arguably a risky business. Lots of external and internal factors that can affect restaurant turnover. Large capital, strategic location, and good taste are no longer the sole guarantee to be able to survive amid high market competition.

Seeing this, the Marugame Udon restaurant chain, which is licensed under PT Sriboga Marugame Indonesia (SMI), focuses on internal governance and good restaurant management. This Japanese restaurant with the concept of fresh udon, open kitchen, and tempura has opened more than 60 outlets throughout Indonesia and abroad.

As a global restaurant chain, Marugame Udon needs to conduct various international transactions, especially for the purchase of food ingredients and cooking utensils.

Support strategic business objectives of Marugame delivering higher efficiency in their financial management processes.

The challenge:

Marugame Udon is one of the world’s largest Japanese restaurant franchises. Committed to making the perfect bowl of udon, Marugame Udon’s Indonesian branch sources the food ingredients and kitchen utensils directly from Japan. Thus, the Indonesian branch has to regularly make payments to its suppliers in Japan each month.

Previously, the team relied upon large reputed banks to make these overseas transfers from IDR to JPY. However, the fees charged from each transaction was costly, going up to several hundred thousand rupiahs for each transaction.

The Marugame team also had to physically go to the bank branch each time they wanted to make an overseas payment, and adjust to the bank’s operational hours.

Marugame management found this process inefficient and wanted to maximize the profit from their operations. Mr. Akhmad Nurhidayat, SMI's Chief Financial Officer shared "There are inefficiencies in sending money using banks overseas. The cost per transaction is very high, because most have to use a correspondence bank. Then, the transaction process also takes time, because it must adjust to the correspondence bank's operating hours.”

The approach:

To optimize profit while continuing to drive growth with their international operations Mr.Nurhidayat, looked for a non-bank alternative and chose Wallex.  Wallex is a fintech based alternative to the traditional route of making payments, offering rates that were better than the Bank’s, with cheaper fees and the faster timelines for delivery of funds - through their Wallex Business account.

After being properly set up within Wallex’s online ecosystem, Marugame Udon’s Finance team was able to make the end to end overseas transfers 24/7 from the comfort of their office (or home!). Right from funding the payment to executing the transaction with a particular exchange rate - everything was done online.

This was particularly useful when Indonesia was on lock down due to the covid19 pandemic and going to the Bank was just not an option.

The result:

The company is now able to save both time and money using Wallex as their first-choice overseas payment tool.

Mr Akmad was delighted with the experience and shared “After using Wallex, we are able to reduce 50% to 60% of our international transfer costs. This is a good example of a finance platform that helps businesses run more efficiently.”

According to Mr.Andy Putra, Wallex's Country Manager in Indonesia, this could be done because Wallex applied a flat transaction price of Rp 100,000 per transaction, compared to traditional service providers that set progressive rates. Not only that, the platform offers a competitive exchange rate for 47 foreign currencies (compared to 10-15 that are offered by banks). This fintech platform can be accessed online at any time, and can complete international transaction activities within 1 to 3 days.

"We are aware that the business world in this digital era is spinning very fast and completely online. Therefore, international class businesses such as Marugame also demand international transfer solutions that are safe, practical, and can be accessed anytime and anywhere. We are pleased that Marugame has entrusted Wallex to facilitate international payment activities, "said Andy.

For more information about Wallex and learn how it can support your business, please visit www.wallex.asia or talk to our FX expert.

About Margumae Udon :

Marugame Udon serves the best Udon & Tempura from Japan. Marugame Udon first opened in Indonesia on February 14, 2013 at Taman Anggrek Mall. All recipes used are original recipes from Marugame Japan, cooked using quality and natural ingredients that are processed at each of their outlets with special techniques from Japan and controlled with stringent quality assurance standards.

Marugame Udon already has branches in various major cities in Indonesia and currently has more than 1100 branches throughout the world, such as in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Moscow, Sydney, Seoul, Hong Kong, and other major cities in the world.

Marugame Udon has received MUI halal certification on October 7, 2015 and is committed to continuing to present the best Udon & Tempura to its loyal customers.