History of Neo Garden Catering


An inspiring success story usually starts from a simple dream, and for our Founder, Chairman and CEO Mr Neo Kah Kiat, it was the decision to lift his family out of poverty. Taking the path less travelled, Mr Neo left school at secondary 2 to start his own business. He eventually dived into the food catering industry after a not so fulfilling experience at a friend’s birthday party.

In 1992, he established Neo Garden Restaurant (later rebranded to Neo Garden Catering) with one simple vision: To deliver quality food, with quality setup and on time delivery to every customer

As an entrepreneur with foresight, an enormous deal went into ensuring the dishes adhered to high quality standards, and exceeded customer’s expectations through innovation. Placing the team’s development and welfare first even in the most difficult times and running the business with good work ethics, Neo Garden flourished and became the household name it is today setting benchmarks for the industry.

Walk down the memory lane with Neo Garden.

1992

Set up on 9 April 1992 as Neo Garden Restaurant

Begin operations in a humble 2,000 sq ft shared kitchen in Joo Chiat with only eight employees and a simple goal of providing quality food

First to import the Japanese made rotary fryer to churn out main courses like our Signature Sin Chow Bee Hoon. Compared to using a traditional wok, the rotary fryers ensured consistency of food quality as the Bee Hoon is well mixed without compromising its quality, and improved productivity by up to three times (cooks for 100 guests in 15mins!).

1994

Rental of the Joo Chiat space doubled, compelling a search for a more economical option

The search ended with a 4,000 sq ft coffee shop in Jurong West. Although many left due to the sudden move across the island, however a handful remained and are still with us today

1996

Internally developed the Buffet Catering Management System (BCMS) to consolidate orders and instructions across departments to ensure every order is delivered on time and also allowing more effective planning and delivery of all orders

2003

Introduction of Mini Buffet concept to break the mindset that catering is available for larger scale events, customers can now cater for smaller parties with just 10 guest

2004

Shifted to a bigger premise at Wan Lee Road to accommodate the growing demands

2007

An unfortunate fire took place in the kitchen just two weeks shy of Chinese New Year, the busiest period of the year. Not wanting to disappoint customers and jeopardise their celebrations, repair works took priority and operations were back to normal within three days despite major damages

2008

Rebranded as Neo Garden Catering as the masses became more receptive to the idea of catering instead of celebrating only in restaurants

Mini Buffet sets with a lower minimum for number of guests catered introduced for smaller gatherings, breaking the mindset that catering is only available for larger scale gatherings of minimum 30 guests

2009

Introduction of our monthly Sports Day to encourage healthy living and interaction amongst departments

Introduction of the Company Pledge and Company Song to remind everyone that quality always come first (as mentioned in the pledge and song) as well as to foster a stronger company belonging

2010

Certified as Number 1 Events Caterer in Singapore for the first time in a survey by AC Nielsen

2011

Launch of SEED Fund, an employee-driven fund to aid in CSR to encourage every staff to give back to the society

To increase customer experience, we revamped packaging of Mini Buffets sets to use reusable microwable containers and airtight containers instead of aluminum trays

Awarded double-honors at the Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) 2011 for Most Established Brands and Most Popular Established Brand

Certified for the second time as Number 1 Events Caterer in Singapore by AC Nielsen

2012

Listed on SGX-ST Catalist

Received the HACCP Certificate - Food Management Safety System

Awarded triple-honors at Singapore Prestige Brand Award (SPBA) 2012 for Overall Winner – Established Brands, Most Popular Established Brand, and Winner, SPBA – Established Brands

First in the industry to use environmental-friendly biodegradable CornWare disposable wares to reduce carbon footprint despite its higher costs

2013

Shifted into its current headquarters, a 76,000 sq ft building at 1 Enterprise Road. The building houses a semi-automated central kitchen, offices and various facilities

Implementation of Work Safety Pledge in our kitchens to reiterate to employees the importance of work safety

Weekly ‘No Air-con Day’ practice put in place as we do our part to save the environment

Made it to Singapore Book of Records with 1,005 buffet orders on Chinese New Year's Day (10 Feb 2013)

2014

Birth of Neo 宝宝mascots: Neo Curry, Neo Kong Bak and Neo Ebi to celebrate the SG50 babies. They are named after our highly-raved about dishes: Signature Curry Chicken, Kong Bak Pau and Japanese Ebi prawn

Revamp of our kitchen uniforms to a set of seven different coloured uniforms, a colour a day, with the company’s values printed. The colours brought vibrancy to the otherwise mundane kitchen environment

Launch of the Zero Error campaign internally to track and reduce errors in order to raise the bar for service standards and enhance customer experience

Catering Captains equipped with the Drive Buddy system to aid in planning of their deliveries. The system allowed them to view their daily schedule and document photos of the buffet setup done to ensure every setup has a standard in place

Made it to Singapore Book of Records once again with 1,118 buffet orders on Chinese New Year's Day (31 Jan 2014)

Lauded the claim of Number 1 Events Caterer in Singapore in a report by Euromonitor

Voted by Singapore’s Generation X to be awarded the Top Brand – Caterer Award 2014 by Influential Brands

2015

Remained the record holder in the Singapore Book of Records with 1,189 buffet orders on Chinese New Year's Day for three consecutive years! (19 Feb 2015)

Received Top Brand – Caterer Award 2015 by Influential Brands as a recognition the brand’s favourability and brand recall among Singaporeans

2016

Made it yet again to Singapore Book of Records with 1,531 buffet orders on Chinese New Year's Day (8 Feb 2016)

Granted the claim of Number 1 Events Caterer in Singapore in a report by Euromonitor again

Awarded Top Brand – Caterer Award 2016 by Influential Brands as voted by Generation Y in their survey

Inaugural blood donation drive to encourage employees to give back to society in whichever ways they can, and a total of 250 people took part in this meaning event

2017

Celebrates our Silver Jubilee

Remains the record holder in Singapore Book of Records with 1,790 buffet orders on Chinese New Year’s Day (28 Jan 2017)