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The Success Story of San

Every hospitality entrepreneur has their own story. Passion for entrepreneurship, hospitality and, above all, good food makes the business what it is. But how do entrepreneurs like San Hoon Degeimbre in San Brussels and Ghent make their own voices heard?

Resengo - San

San has been known for its unique bowl concept since 2015. Chef San Hoon Degeimbre, together with sous chef Toshiro Fujii, launched that new concept. The opening of San Brussels was just the beginning. It quickly expanded to several establishments in Brussels and in Ghent. So this is what the collaboration with Resengo as an online reservation system can facilitate. Wondering how San Hoon Degeimbre experiences the cooperation? In this article, we talk to SAN manager Marie Estelle Gérard.

What does SAN stand for?

When you walk into one of the SAN shops, you are immediately welcomed by the warm interior designed by Charlotte Esquenet of Designstudio Exsud. The beautiful tableware is by Atelier Bibendou. These thoughtful design elements, together with the staff dressed in braces, create a warm, welcoming and homely atmosphere.

"That it feels homey here is no coincidence," says Marie-Estelle. "San Hoon Degeimbre wanted to create a dynamic experience, with quality dishes and the welcoming feel of a living room. At SAN Brussels and Ghent, you eat all dishes from a bowl, with a spoon as the only cutlery. In doing so, Degeimbre has transferred the Korean standard of dining among friends to Belgium."

SAN Brussels and Ghent as a pluricultural cuisine. What does that mean?

Marie-Estelle Gérard: "In our restaurants, we combine classic French cooking techniques with those of various other countries and cultures. Each bowl is equivalent to a culinary journey to another city, in another country."

The bowls bear the name of the destination, but we get to take the culinary trip ourselves. Our destinations are places like Piedmont (Veal, capers and anchovies), Landes (Duck with parsnips and spelt) and Sri Lanka (Pineapple, samba and yoghurt). Built around one main element, each bowl is a showcase of flavour and creativity. For some bowls, there is real out-of-the-box thinking. For instance, you can get a vegetable-based dessert.

San Hoon Degeimbre's kitchen underwent a change in 2019?

"That's right", replies Gérard, "When we prepare a menu now, it is offered in the three SAN establishments. However, on 26 March 2019, our head chef Toshiro Fujii opened his own shop Toshiro in Saint Gilles. From then on, the menu in the three SAN shops was developed separately by its own chef."

At SAN Brussels and Ghent, there is a set menu. How do you deal with special requests?

Marie-Estelle Gérard: "Indeed, a menu comes to 3 or 5 courses in the afternoon, 5 courses in the evening. In addition, you can always opt for the Liernu, an extra bowl you can order with a menu. The Liernu is a delicious bowl of seasonal vegetables from the vegetable garden of Degeimbre's restaurant L'air du Temps. Guests ask us about it so often that we continue to offer it as a regular dish. Of course, the content of the bowl depends on the vegetables we have on hand."

"Just because you can't order from the menu at SAN Brussels and Ghent doesn't mean we don't pay attention to guests with specific allergies or food preferences. When people make the comment via Resengo's online booking module that they are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, we are happy to prepare some alternatives. Exactly what you get depends on what's in the fridge. This is always an exercise in creativity for the chef, and a nice surprise for the guest."

You process reservations and guest communications with Resengo. Which features are important for SAN Brussels and Ghent?

"Resengo makes the reservations of the SAN business and Toshiro available in one clear system. We can get a quick overview of the current situation in all restaurants on one screen, without having to log out and log in all the time. When I'm in Ghent, I can solve a problem in SAN Brussels in a few clicks without being physically present."

"Recently, we also started selling and receiving our gift vouchers online through Resengo. Guests can purchase them online 24/7 and these vouchers can be validated in all SAN branches. In Resengo, we always get a handy overview of the pending, sold and consumed gift vouchers."

"Whenever we have questions or want to review functionalities, we are quickly helped by Resengo. Even during the start-up of the new restaurant Toshiro, we could always contact Resengo. We are very satisfied from this fine cooperation."

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