Nina Hadinata and Morgen Wynn, owners of Gang Gang and the brand-new Nice Day Deli, started out as a small pop-up business, offering an Asian- and American-inspired menu at markets, festivals, private and community events around South Australia. After six months of doing pop-ups, they unveiled Trailer Swift – their bright yellow food trailer – which they took to major music and food festivals.
In late 2019 and early 2020, they made a big leap and opened two brick-and-mortar shops, with locations in Parkside and Port Elliot, but also continued their food truck business. They’ve excelled and grown at a much more rapid pace than initially anticipated and now employ a team of 15.
With permanent locations, Nina and Morgen have expanded on their menu to offer their brand’s signature burgers, sandos and sides, along with dishes that are a blend of two very unique food cultures: Balinese and Los Angeles.
Biggest Challenges During The Journey
Since both Nina and Morgen come from creative backgrounds, they had to learn that the ‘paperwork’ side of things is just as important as the ‘ideas’ side.
“We’ve learned that making sure we put aside time for those aspects is imperative,” says Nina.
As with most restaurants this year, the COVID crisis had a huge impact on their business – especially since before opening their Parkside shop, half of their business was based on large group gatherings and events.
“On a positive note, we’ve been able to recoup, retrain and refocus on things we would usually have put to the side when we’re busy, so we’re grateful for those down times,” says Morgen. “But now we are very much ready to get back into things again.”
Keys To Success
“Without balance there is no success,” says Nina. “Balance is critical in every aspect of work life and home life. It keeps us grounded and functioning. In hospitality, I think we would go crazy without it.”
She also advises, “Get your books in order from the get-go and keep them that way. Ask your accountants and mentors questions all the time. Every business is different and there are always 100 different ways to do something – you just have to find what works best for you and always be willing to learn, listen and continue to grow.”
How Oreon Has Been Involved In Their Journey & Success
Morgen knew Chanel Saleh at Oreon Partners and got in touch in 2019 when the team was looking for a hands-on accountant with experience helping clients in the hospitality industry.
“Chanel has been a core ingredient to Gang Gang’s success and will be in the future,” says Morgen. “She understands the hospitality industry better than any accountant we’ve ever known, and we are so grateful for her services.”
Oreon Partners assisted the team by helping them master Xero and Deputy and all their bookkeeping with step-by-step, personalised instructions and training sessions, providing a better understanding of their overall business and finances.
With the COVID pandemic this year, Oreon Partners was also able to help the team keep up with government support options when applicable and found areas in which they could cut back temporarily until they’re able to trade at full capacity again.
“From the minute we first met with Chanel and her colleagues at Oreon Partners, we admired their proficiency, communication and work ethic,” states Nina. “We also really appreciate their forward-thinking attitude and the ‘above and beyond’ work we have seen and felt. Thanks to Oreon, accounting isn’t scary for us anymore.”
Plans For The Future
Nina and Morgen hope that someday Gang Gang will be a franchise, but for now they’re focused on getting back into festival work post-COVID, on their Parkside store and their new shipping container café, Nice Day Deli, at Port Elliot.
“This year has been one hell of a ride for everyone, especially those in the hospitality industry, but we feel confident that SA and Australia will all come back stronger than ever,” says Morgen. “We’re just waiting for that safe light to go green again!”