The ever-changing environment of the pandemic has compelled entrepreneurs to take measures that they never thought were needed before. Assuring customers of safety measures while at the same time making sure profit doesn’t plummet have been their priorities.
However, the pandemic has also helped re-envision the way business is done. Interestingly, the pandemic itself has opened up new business possibilities that, even when it is over, may very much still be part of business models.
Last April 30, 2021, six panelists shared their insights in an event entitled Modern Taoke: Equipping the Family Businesses for Success, with the theme of The Future of Food Business. What You Need to Know, organized by Globe myBusiness and CHiNOY TV.
Here’s what we learned from the panelists!
1) Going digital is not only essential, but NEEDED.
Talking about the impact of food delivery services in this time of pandemic, Chairman/CEO of AgriNurture, Inc. & The Big Chill, Inc. Antonio Tiu said that his business model has included using third party delivery apps. This is so that they can “cater to all segments of the consumers”.
“Well, as I’ve shared, probably around 70% of the stores are currently shut down. So, if we look at the numbers, Big Chill sales is probably down to less than 30% of its peak. And out of this 30%, right now the online delivery will account for nearly half of the total of the total orders on a daily basis.”
According to Tiu, his bigger stores serve as the delivery and pick up hub.
Owner of 82-year-old Kamuning Bakery Wilson Lee Flores echoed Tiu’s sentiments.
“Before lockdown, very interesting, I never bothered to [do] deliveries. When you’re used to having a business that’s doing okay, I said, ‘I did not want a lot of drivers, a lot of motorcycles, and all that’,” said Flores.
But that changed in this time of pandemic. “And when we started doing that, plus going online payment and everything, our sales literally exploded.”
2) Innovation and adaptability are key.
23-year-old entrepreneur and co-founder of The OC Chef Brittany Ang shared also how for her, innovation has been key.
“Initially, we started with just lasagna and then we saw that a lot of people parang wanted healthier options. So, we added healthier options to our menu,” Ang said.
Facebook community groups such as FIL-CHI HO TSIA/HO DIM and Fil-Chi Tao Ke Group have helped in opening her perspectives to what the market wants and needs.
President and COO of Foodee Global Concepts Eric Dee mentioned cloud kitchens, which first started in the UK in 2018.
“It’s essentially a bunch of kitchens. Imagine a warehouse, and then we subdivide it into multiple kitchens … And now, because of the pandemic, rather than opening a full-scale restaurant, you can just easily open a kitchen that would service that area,” Dee said.
Dee, together with co-founders Victor Lim and Victor Mapua opened cloud kitchen Kraver’s Canteen just this 2020. In-house brands and partner brands operate in the cloud kitchen, giving businesses the opportunity to continue selling their products.
3) We grow together.
For Jacq Lim and Greg Camacho, Head of GrabExpress and Head of GrabFood respectively, entrepreneurs need not be alone in their business ventures.
Lim gave the example of a meat shop who used to sell in a public market setting.
“Obviously, during the pandemic, nobody or very few people would go to the public market,” said Lim. “Delivery services will be there, and we can tailor-fit solutions for them. So, for example, if you’re a restaurant, we can give you a business portal where you can track your deliveries from the different branches and manage those deliveries. But when you’re a small business, you’re starting out, [or] you’re a home business, what we can do is we can give you promos, we can give you cash backs, we can give you opportunities to be discovered.”
Camacho echoed Lim’s thoughts — as well as of the speakers above — as he talked about digital technology as being an “enabler” for businesses.
“Everyone’s asking for more data. And we have, for our app, these analytical tools coming out where, you know, you’re able to see which times of the day do I perform the best, which of my branches do the strongest sales, which of the food items are ordered together so I can create bundles around those items,” Camacho said.
And so, while competition is a necessary and present theme in every business setting, from a social perspective, doing business is also about working together to bring everyone up. All businesses have their own strengths and weaknesses, and if they can help each other by utilizing each others’ strengths to compensate for their weaknesses, mutual growth may just be achieved.
Stay tuned on CHiNOY TV’s Facebook page for more exciting contents and a replay of the webinar, brought to you in partnership with Globe myBusiness on its mission to help out and empower businesses and SMEs by providing them digital solutions. For more on Globe myBusiness, check out this link: https://www.globe.com.ph/business/sme.html#gref
The author of this article:
An accomplished young Chinese Filipino writer and media personality, Aaron S. Medina is associated with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Ateneo de Manila University Chinese Studies Program, the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies, and CHiNOY TV. He has a passion for truth, justice, and Pokémon, too! Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aaron.joseph.s.medina/