Innovative, astute, and equipped with a keen business sense, FooDee Global Concepts Managing Director Eric Dee has contributed a great deal to the country’s fast-growing food industry. Dining aficionados have him to thank for the presence of establishments such as Tim Ho Wan, FO’OD by Davide Oldani, and Todd English Food Hall, all of which have become favourites of local foodies. “Most of the restaurants our group brings in are reasonably priced Michelin-rated establishments,” Eric says. “It’s important for me that customers feel like they’re getting much more out of an experience than what they paid for.”
Well-trained by his father, entrepreneur Rikki Dee, Eric knows the ins and outs of being in the business. He enjoys the daily grind, though, enthusing, “My sort of work doesn’t feel like work at all. I get to try the best dishes—and I absolutely love to eat.” He believes his biggest responsibility to his fellow foodies is to keep bringing in great food at great prices, and to ensure the Philippines gets the attention it deserves as a culinary destination.
As a modern restaurateur, Eric has some tips and tricks of his own. For him, it is vital to stay organised and to put effective systems in place, especially when it comes to running day-to-day operations. “Our generation is smart because we know how to handle time constraints,” he says. “By this, I mean we try to find the quickest ways to initiate proceedings or solve problems. Others may perceive this as the laziest approach, but it could be the most efficient as well.”
Both a businessman and a family man (“I’d love to have one more kid—hopefully, a daughter!”), he recognises the need to be a good influence to others, especially with regards to sharing knowledge on how he got to where he is now. “Stay focused and humble,” he advises. “And don’t be afraid to take risks.”