When Rasel Catering was set up back in 1999, it was only the second catering firm in Singapore to be halal-certified.
Today, about 100 catering firms have halal certification.
Despite this proliferation, the two co-founders of Rasel, managing director Alan Tan and creative director Chris Loh, have managed to carve out a niche for themselves and stay ahead of the competition by using their flair for creativity and innovation.
Rasel started out as Rasa Selera Food Service. In 2001, it underwent a rebranding exercise, changing its name to Rasel Food Fusion.
"At the time, there was a fusion fad in the food and beverage industry, people were fusing Western and Asian cuisines," said Ms Loh. "But this fad faded away... and our menus evolved as well, so there came a time when people became confused by our name and we realised it was time to reconsider our market positioning."
Rasel was also now serving a more sophisticated and high-end clientele, having penetrated the corporate events market.
So earlier this year, Rasel updated itself again with new moniker Rasel Catering and the tagline, "artisans of joy". "It signifies that we bring artistry to everything we do, from our service to our food and our settings," said Ms Loh.
The firm showcases its artistic flair by creating new dishes, putting new twists on traditional menu items, and coming up with unique table settings and venue decorations. Ms Loh herself has been known to sew diamante beads by hand onto tablecloths to create a glamorous dinner set-up.