Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Bustamam’s childhood was not like other children his age. This man who was born in 1942 spent his first 10 years of life being bullied by misfortune.
When he was 6 years old, his mother died. Since then his father remarried and went somewhere else.
As a result, he lives alone with his brothers and sisters in the village of Lintau Buo, Tanah Datar. Unfortunately, four years later the house he lived in was destroyed by a landslide.
In February 1954, his father suddenly came to pick up Bustamam to go to Riau. In his first overseas land he became a rubber farmer to support his family.
However, he was not long in Riau. After that, Bustamam was invited by his brother to Jambi.
It is in this city that the true journey of life begins. As explained by Hasril Chaniago in The Life Story of Haji Bustamam, Founder of a Simple Restaurant (2019), in 1955 or at the age of 13, Bustamam worked as an angkot driver.
The heat of the sun did not dampen his steps to get money. After becoming a bus driver for public transportation, he tried selling cigarettes.
In Jambi, many workers make cigarettes their “friends”. As a result, this is a big business opportunity for Bustamam.
He sells Dji Sam Soe 234 cigarettes and sells well. Until finally, he was able to buy new goods from the cigarette business.
However, because there was conflict in Jambi, he swerved to work at a Padang restaurant owned by a friend of his brother in the 1960s. There, Bustamam helped a lot.
Starting from washing dishes, cooks, waiters, to buying groceries. Warung Padang is called “Simple”.
Working at Simplicity made him understand the ins and outs of the restaurant business. After that, he was more determined to live from food stalls to other food stalls.
With that capital, he was desperate to migrate to the nation’s capital where life was considered more challenging. Quoting a book Padang Restaurant Business Success (2009), in 1970 he came to Jakarta with his wife and small child.
At first he sold cigarettes at Pejompongan as an hawker. However, because he was often targeted by thugs and was targeted by the Satpol PP, he chose the Padang food stall business.
In the beginning, he sold from a cart on the sidewalk and next to a dirty sewer, around Bendungan Hilir (Benhil), in 1972. The name of his stall was “Rimps Restaurant (RM).
Even though it looks dirty, the merchandise sells well because it is delicious and most importantly cheap. Many employees enjoy their Padang cuisine every break from work.
Cash came quickly. Unfortunately, not long after that the Satpol PP confiscated his cart.
As a result, he chose to rent land in Benhil, and again it was selling well. After that, he expanded his business by establishing branches at RM Singgalang Jaya in Roxy in 1975 and RM Modest in Pasar Sunan Giri, Rawamangun in 1978.
Because they are in the center of the crowd, the two restaurants are selling well. All desert dishes are sold out in an instant. The gains are enormous.
Bustamam is getting more and more crazy about opening branches. He has found his own target market. Both Simple or Singgalang Jaya are different from RM Padang in general.
He is large, can be occupied by up to 60 seats, clean, and comfortable. Therefore, it is often visited by middle and upper class people.
From the 1980s to the 1990s, he owned two RM Padang kingdoms, namely RM Singgalang Jaya and RM Sederhana. RM Singgalang Jaya is specifically located in Matraman, Tanah Abang and Jatinegara. Meanwhile, Mediterania is attached to the Rawamangun and Benhil branches.
However, starting in 1994, all of its branches used Simple RM. None of his restaurants are deserted, aka selling well.
Apart from having its own target market, this is also because it has its own strategy of building branches based on Minangkabau custom. All branches are opened not with a franchise system, but through profit sharing.
“With a profit-sharing system, workers’ income is determined by whether the restaurant is selling or not. Therefore, they must have a responsibility to make their restaurant sell well. They will maintain quality, taste of food, and good service. They will consciously boost their own simple RM to attract many visitors,” wrote Hasril Chaniago.
This method has proven successful. Since 1990, there have been dozens of simple RM in Jabodetabek.
Now, Simple RM has 200 branches throughout Indonesia. Even abroad, such as Malaysia.
The success of building an octopus rice padang business has earned Bustaman the nickname “King of Indonesian Padang Restaurants”. Even the King of Southeast Asian Padang Restaurants.
The ‘Sacred’ Key to Minang People’s Success, Must Be Imitated by Many People!