Ex-radio DJ Daniel Ong opening 3rd steakhouse, yet to recoup other outlets’ startup costs

He's slowly expanding his F&B empire.

Lee Wei Lin | July 11, 2022, 04:00 PM

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Former radio deejay Daniel Ong is slowly but surely expanding his F&B empire.

Just over a month ago, he opened Estuary, an oyster bar and "pescatarian haven" located at Palais Renaissance in Orchard.

On Jul. 12, the third outlet of his "Korean-influenced steakhouse", Dan's Steaks, will open at The Star Vista. The chain's Instagram post also hails the outlet as their "biggest yet".

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A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

Ong's F&B roots

This isn't the 46-year-old's first foray into F&B.

Ong, along with his ex-wife Jaime Teo, founded Twelve Cupcakes in 2011. He was also once part of the team behind restaurant-bar Mischief, and craft beer brand Brewlanders.

He closed the last outlet of his casual western dining restaurant chain Rookery in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Less than half a year later in April 2021, he opened the first Dan's Steaks outlet -- which first started as a home-based business -- at Serangoon Gardens.

Last November,  their second outlet opened along Upper East Coast Road.

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A post shared by Dan’s Steaks 🥩 Bar & Grill (@danssteaks)

Restaurant chain "nowhere near breaking even"

Ong told 8days in an interview last month that Dan's Steaks is "nowhere near breaking even" and that some months are "tough" due to less-than-stellar sales.

In spite of this, he, along with two other partners, invested “around half a million dollars” to open Estuary.

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Top photos from Dan's Steaks on Instagram