“Our business idea originated from simple small talk,” says Georgetta Sukamto, co-founder of The Playground restaurant at Pondok Indah Mall. “I was hanging out with my brother (Gregory Sukamto) and we were reminiscing about how we missed some of our childhood moments. Like when we played together on swings, slides, see-saws and merry-go-rounds. Since we both like to eat out, we got this crazy idea to combine the two themes – and that’s how The Playground came about.
The interior of the restaurant resembles a playground, since we actually wanted people to come here to reminisce about their childhood memories – of course, while enjoying a good meal, too.”
Getta was 21 years old when she and Gregory started their restaurant venture six years ago. “It was a big risk because we didn’t have any restaurant background,” she admits. “It was all based on our love of good food. I grew up in a family that appreciates food, so it was natural for us to take this seriously. My brother and I love to cook. He specialises in main courses, while I do the baking. We learned everything by doing for this business. We have a big passion for this. It drives us to work and to constantly learn more and more.
“For the interior of the restaurant, we needed perfect execution since we already had an original theme. We picked Andra Matin as the designer because we know that he has an out-of-the box approach to his work. We wanted our restaurant to be a comfortable place to hang out with your friends. We opened our first restaurant in Plaza Indonesia in 2011. Three years later, we opened another outlet in Street Gallery in Pondok Indah Mall. The food concept is ‘intercontinental’. We have an Indonesian, Japanese, Italian and fusion menu. When a group of people plan to go somewhere to eat, they sometimes have various food preferences. How to keep everyone happy? The diverse menu that The Playground offers could well be the answer.”
A business degree graduate majoring in banking and finance from Monash University in Melbourne, Getta has taken workshops at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco and at San Francisco Cooking School. “I knew from the start that this field was for me, so after we opened the restaurant I took a break and went to San Francisco to learn more about baking,” she says. “It was like a dream come true, to do what I actually loved. It was different from when I studied finance. Since I have a big passion for F&B, every effort I make for our business comes from the heart - no matter how demanding the work is.
“I’m lucky to have a very loving support system. My family and friends are the ones who encouraged me to take this project seriously. They kept on saying that the cakes and pastries I made were really good and they believed that I could scale up my baking skills. That’s why I took a break from the business to study in the States.”
Getta has also co-founded Paton and Preciosa Catering Company with her brother. “It is a catering company and also an online bakery,” she explains. “I wanted to try something different from a restaurant. It’s a more challenging business to do because we have to adapt to different locations. For the cakes, I bake and decorate everything myself. We do catering for events, providing everything from the food to the cutlery and the servers.”
Having been in the restaurant business for quite a long time, what is the most important lesson that Getta has learned as a restaurateur? “I think that to survive in the F&B field is I have to like what I do. It sparks the curiosity to learn more, excel and grow the business. In March, we’re going to open another business. It’s called Warisan Pak Kamto and it offers Indonesian favourites like ayam bakar and nasi goreng. We have a stall in the Lotte Shopping Avenue food court. It’s more like an express approach, because we know that a lot of people who work around there want fast food for lunch.”
What more can we expect more from Getta in the coming year? “I want to be more successful, not just in business but also in other aspects,” she replies. “As I grow older, I realise that no one is perfect. We can learn from our past mistakes to become a better person. I’m young. I’m still in a learning phase, and I’m enjoying the process.”
The full feature has been published in Prestige March 2017, The Food Issue. Click here to purchase.
Jewellery: Tiffany & Co.
Photography: Robin Alfian
Fashion Direction: Peter Zewet
Styling: Koko Namara
Hair: Inaro Ahmad
Location: Tori Ya at Noble House Building