The Power of partnership

SSP and hospitality and restaurant group Minor International have worked together in Thailand for more than two decades. Minor’s Founder & Chairman Bill Heinecke explores the advantages of combining local knowledge with global expertise 

In any relationship, it’s essential that both parties have plenty in common. In the case of Minor and SSP,  we’re both driven by our understanding of customer demand and expectations. Our company cultures are similar – both our businesses are all about people. Both partners must be committed to the venture, and we’ve also both invested in the people on the ground who lead our operations. 

It’s also important that each brings something complementary to the table. SSP has brought a wealth of food expertise, knowledge of operating platforms and processes, as well as insight into global trends and a macro-perspective of the F&B sector. For our part, we at Minor have resources in supply chain management, logistics, construction, and labour supply and training.  

We learn from each other, and, for example, if we launch a successful product downtown, SSP can launch it in the airport. And if for instance SSP develops insight into the use of digital POS around it, they in turn share that with us.  

Each bolsters the other’s reputation. As a trusted local operator, the scale of our operations in Thailand and our connections with local partners has helped raise SSP’s profile with local airports.  

Partnership is one of our core values. Our journey of expansion through strategic partnerships has been pivotal in achieving our growth objectives and when a partnership works, ‘one plus one’ can add up to much more than ‘two’. Working with good local partners, or global partners who can help us navigate the market, know the key decision makers, and share our ambitions and goals, is a smart choice.  

One of SSP’s longest and most successful, its partnership with Minor dates back to 1995, when the two companies opened a food court at Don Mueang International Airport. Since that time, a shared passion for food has paved the way for the introduction of ground-breaking new ways of working and impressive new concepts. Today, the business has grown at a phenomenal pace to be one of the largest F&B operators in Thai airports, running around 90 units in nine airports across Thailand and employing more than 1,300 colleagues. The partnership operates a number of international brands including The Coffee Club, Bonchon and Dairy Queen, local hero brands such as Milch by Milch Japan and TumTum Zapp café, as well as bespoke concepts and SSP’s own brands including Upper Crust and Camden food co.