On this article we will tackle on how to create a food business in the Philippines either carinderia or silogan (breakfast/topping meals). Now these businesses are easy to start with and the initial costs usually are about as low as 1,000 Php to 50,000 Php depending on what market (i.e. people) you will provide the service for.
How about permits? Well, there’s a thing about that and you may be surprised that they may not be required. It might be required for some elite, established places like Makati or so… but for provinces and the like or a small business? Well, there’s a lesson about that on a later time, but use your head and your eyes, and inform yourself if EVERYBODY really is following it. 😉 Curious on how? get my ebook and it will show you the truth about real, no-nonsense filipino business and success.
In the Philippines, food is one of the greatest commodity. The rich, the poor, the middle; would eat at least something within a day. And they like it CHEAP, FAST, and FILLING. Those are the concept of food business that needs to be established first in order for you to have patrons that would eat at your FOOD Business.
** For foreigners who would like to do this Business; let me tell you that, sure you have to follow sanitary steps and good hygiene when it comes to food preparation. But there is a way on this on which YOU, as a foreigner, could still own your own carinderia/silog business. You could do it at home and distribute it later, or just establish it in front of your house and sell your products.
On my ebook that will be later published, I will tell you the secret behind this loophole. But let me tell you a gist of it here; Look around in the Philippines and find, say, on a normal street (manila, or wherever), a Carinderia…. a local food stall with cooked meals. They are run down with obvious maintenance needs, but a lot of people are eating there. Do the health department agencies have qualms of them? YES! Do they act on it? NO. After seeing that, tell me if they have permits to operate and you will be surprised from their answer, and also how long they have stayed in business. If they can do it, why can’t you?
So moving along with our topic, How to create a food business in the Philippines (even as a Foreigner):
- Find a Good Place with lots of foot traffic or people.
I have said before that location is a MUST. A good location pretty much provides 50% of your actual unrealized revenue saying that you have a good product to sell. My wife, who is a business development specialist- a person that provides study, support, and cultivation of business for establishment- said “Marketing creates opportunities to sell”. That’s the reason why a good location has to have a good marketing traffic. Where else could that be? from Wet/Dry Markets, nearby vacant corner lots, or even at your own house. Doesn’t matter, as long you have a good traffic, you will be fine. But do remember, the more established a place or town is, the more likely you may be required to acquire permits or certifications. If it will be at your own house then you MAY have the option not to acquire permits. We established our own Silogan before at our house somewhere in Bulacan, we did not need any permits on it either. But when we established in a Commercial place, we have to acquire permits. (But later we learned that as a foreigner, there is a way to get all this permits without a hassle). Though, it was lucrative, it has also a fatal flaw. So that puts us on our next step: Competition.
- Find less Competition:
I believe this must be included on the location step, but saying this is another factor that could affect profitability, this will definitely need a detailed answer.
Carinderia or Silogan Businesses are easy to make. Cheap to start, and requires only labor and good proven taste. Which is, a lot of FILIPINOS are also capable of. Matter of fact, other than SARI-SARI STORE (which I will discuss also on my upcoming book), food business such as carideria or silogan are EASILY COPIED. Sad to say, this was the bane of this business. We lost almost all of our profits because of either:
- Incompetent competition that copies your same business as their own.
- Competition that ruins your reputation by their own failed versions.
From recipes, to settings, to even the concept. Filipinos have a tendency to copy everything, especially if it spells SUCCESS.
Unfortunately, that includes this food business. So do not be surprised that a lot of people in the Philippines are doing this. Is it illegal for copyright purposes? or DTI violation? Yeah, somewhat – but here’s the thing; so is also DIVISORIA, the haven of copyrighted, downright fake albeit cheap items. That’s where the magic happens, if you read my eBook, you will know how to deal your cards right for this business.
In short, stay away from competitions as much as possible. If there are many competitions, you have to ensure that your product could outlast the proverbial blight of COPYCAT-ness, or better yet, change your concept completely. Unless you have something unique to offer (which I will detail on my book), you will stand no chance of creating success from the local people who had been doing this for a long time. You may venture, but don’t say I didn’t guide you so. Get my book, and learn from it, or you will succeed this blunder.
- Choose the food that locally or nationally acceptable.
As I have said on the location; there lies the that fact that on particular locations, there is a particularly popular food. It is easy to identify them; for Laguna with its Buko Pie, from Davao with its Durian, to provinces with their own local delicacies- so is too, with local food channeling.
Food concept will change depending on the location. For example, at Village 1 the popular food is GOTO (Porridge with Beef), while at village 2 is PANCIT (Fried Noodles). You may not find success selling your pancit if you will be located in Village 1 with its GOTO popularity. Do you see the reasoning behind this now?
So how would you know if you have the right market concept for your food then? Well, it is simple. ASK the people.
Nationally wise, the Philippines accept pretty much all types of food and even gourmet delicacies with ease (i.e Balut). But Just be wary that some religious denominations which could be located anywhere (there, I said it); blood or pork meat may not be acceptable. So, use due prudence about starting any food business there and do research.
“We, as a professionals here in livinglifeph.com have experience establishing businesses and also we provide in depth feasibility business report with an affordable price. But if that may be too much of a hassle, then just go get my ebook and you will also learn how to check feasibility of businesses in the Philippines by yourself.”
- Get supplies from a local market rather than a commercial market.
Getting supplies in the Philippines is easy. Just go to your local markets and deal with the most affordable products you could later use for your silog/carinderia business. They could be eggs, meat (chicken, pork, beef..etc.), rice (we use dinorado as it is cheap), vegetables, to even utensils.
Deal with a reasonable seller, and be a patron of them too. There is much to establish other than commodity in the ways of Filipinos- Friendship is a must. That is where you get good deals and even under-the-table price drops. If you have not established this, do not fret, time will come for it to happen. However, just be reasonable with your buying price too as the market here in the Philippines are easily affected by the rise and fall of PETROL/GASOLINE in the international market or stock exchange index.
- Establish a Clean and Appetite Inducing Facility.
This is really the easy part. If you have a location or a spot on which your cubicle stands or you decided to establish your silog/carideria business just outside your house, then just use a couple of tables, set it up with monoblock chairs, serve the food on the plate and provide utensils. Use steel drinking container and steel (spoon and fork) utensils as to easily clean them afterwards. Glass type drinking glass has a tendency to look filthy later the same with plastic utensils, but really that’s up to you. If you can see the picture above, just then display your food for easy “turo-turo” methodology- you just point which one you’d like to eat. Or if it is early in the morning, and this is a silogan, then you may provide a menu and have it cooked ON-SITE.
See, that was easy? But if you want a more established carinderia/silogan, then just be aware that you may require higher “certifications and permits” later on. But if that is not your option, then just use prudence and be content with a small but earning business. Just make sure the place is clean, food is clean, you are clean, and everything is clean. CLEAN, CLEAN, and CLEAN. That’s all there is to it.
- Offer Appetizing i.e. Affordable Menus:
Later on my next articles, I will discuss appetizing menus that could be offered to the masses. And I mean, exactly just that.
This is a carinderia, not a 5 star restaurant. Filipinos have a tendency to look away from expensive food and opt to choose for a cheaper alternative most of the time. That is their habit, their culture- that’s frugality.
A chefs special menu Entre with Caviar appetizer will not kick it to a factory worker having a salary of 5,000 Php weekly. They will not eat branded cakes and Tiramisu if the customer will be eating in a carinderia with regard on their small salaries. Provide an affordable menu instead that could be bought 50-70 Php.
Longganisa with egg and rice, Tocino w/ egg and rice, Bangus with egg and rice….etc. are all good menus to provide. Provide also home cooked meals such as adobo, ginataan, bicol express, torta, nilaga, sinigang…etc.
Like I said before, offer food that is popular locally. Make it affordable, and easy to make. Your customers are local people, not CEOs or Managers. (Well sometimes these people eat there too, but rarely). Still, you stick with the majority, provide with the majority, and earn majorly. Unless your target market are rich people, then you better make sure you live in Makati or Boracay, and I will reiterate it again, YOU MAY NEED TO GET PERMITS if it will be like that. But if that is not an option, then you know what to do: Get my book, start this business, and do it as most Filipinos earn success from this business.
To conclude this wonderful and informative article, I will leave a thought that I have learned with business. Regardless of whether you are thinking to start, or not to start; whatever they may be- go ahead and do them. Just thinking will not get you anywhere, doing will.
So for you, my dear readers. Do yourselves a favor; get my ebook as you could get useful informations on how to be successful on this Business, but also, on this never ending journey- may you achieve greater success for your future.