• Simple formula for success: Give the hungry public what they want

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    So much walking and shopping around can whet anyone’s appetite. When a typical mall shopper gets hungry, he or she will not settle for simply appeasing that hunger. That shopper will want to feel full, and carbohydrate-based foods like potatoes, rice and pasta are their best bet.

    On December 28, 2012, Friends Fries food cart was opened at SM North Edsa to give Pinoys a healthy twist to snack by offering baked crispy potato, instead of deep-fried.

    “May iba’t-ibang flavors ang fries namin at healthy pa,” said Friends Fries stall staff Agustin Cerezo when asked about the difference of their fries from others.

    Friends Fries offers a variety of flavors to choose from such as plain salt, cheese, barbecue, sour cream and onion which range from P45 to P160 depending on size.

    According to Cerezo, 60 percent of their buyers are children who always look for Friends Fries’ best seller, BFF Fries cheese flavor for only P45.

    “Maganda ang pagtanggap sa’min ng tao. Sana next year, mas tangkilikin pa nila kami,” said Cerezo. From Monday to Thursday, Friends Fries’ net sales is approximately P3,000 while they earn P5,000 a day from Friday until Sunday.

    Recently, Friends Fries launched a new product, P-Pop crispy potato poppe, also sold at P45 to P160.

    Friends Fries was conceptualized by Fruitas Group of Companies alongside Bukoni Fruitas, Juice Avenue, Black Pearl, TheMango Farm, Cereal Chiller, Fruitas Ice Candy and many others.

    Potato Madness can be said to compete with Friends Fries, albeit indirectly. While Potato Madness has the same base product, they offer the public no-excuses fried potatoes. Not the healthiest of foods, perhaps, but a favorite of all because they are so filling.

    The variants include offered by Potato Madness include Twister Fries, Hash Browns, Cris-cut Fries, Cheese Fries, Sour Cream Fries, Barbecue Fries and Zesty Wedges. In addition to crispy fries and flavors, the food cart also offers a wide selection of potato-based meals.

    Total investment required is only P 250,000 to start a Potato Madness franchise cart.

    “Potato Madness’ daily income reaches up to P11,000 to P15,000,” according to a crew member. She estimates that sales this year are 20 percent higher than last year.
    If potatoes sell so well, what about the meat?

    “Big Chop” a store owned by Lester Uy that sells pork chop just opened its latest branch last April 26, 2013. The company has four stalls located SM Sta. Mesa, SM North Edsa, Q.I and at the newly opened mall SM Aura. The smallest stall located at the food court of SM North Edsa earns around P800 a day, and up to P5,000 a week. This may be small compared to other food stalls, but the company is a new player and is thus still making a name for itself.

    Filipinos love rice
    The advantage it has over others is the rice that goes with their dishes. Filipinos are essentially rice eaters, and Big Chop is banking on mall goers looking for an old time comfort food while they go shopping.

    “Siyempre kahit ako bibilin ko yung may kanin na,” said Ronel S. Mamormo, a crew member at the SM North Edsa stall. In the near future, Big Chop is planning to add rice, pasta, desserts and more drinks to their menu as requested by their customers.
    Appeasing one’s hunger is fine, but what about one’s thirst?

    While almost all food karts and stalls offer the usual bottled drinks, health buffs and the figure conscious demand more. For those who want something more than the usual sugared drinks, freshly squeezed fruit juices offer the best alternative.

    Juice Avenue was created by Fruitas Group of Companies and established in September 26, 2004. Its initial main branch was at the ground floor, North Wing, Mall of Asia (MOA).

    This unique smoothies bar’s goal is to refresh its customers, and summer is their best time, income-wise.

    Their special blends of freshly picked fruits straight from the farm mixed with either vanilla ice cream or fresh milk are their best sellers.

    Wilmer Enero, the MOA branch manager of Juice Avenue, said that their most sailable juice is Calle Escolta, named after the historical street in Manila. He also said that their monthly gross sales is almost P 100,000 during the summer months and their main costumers are Filipinos. Ana Karylle Padilla Tatlonghari or simply Karylle is their product endorser.

    Juice Avenue also offers desserts some of which are named Four Ways Street, Red Carpet and Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue.

    Sugar fix
    For those who simply must have their sugar fix, a market player offers brownies, cupcakes and fudge cakes. Brownies Unlimited must be doing well because the company now has 58 stores [cafes, kioks and carts] located in Festival Supermall, Glorietta, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place and 40 SM City and Super Center Malls nationwide.

    The chocolate-based sweets are claimed to be all natural, with no preservatives and no artificial colors.

    Behind this growing company is businesswoman Elizabeth Sy, operating under the corporate name Desserts Plus, Inc.

    “Approximately P100,000 ang benta namin per week. Mabenta kasi talaga ‘to [Brownies] sa mga Pilipino pati na rin sa mga foreigners kasi chocolate e tsaka masarap,” said Ella Boag, storekeeper of Brownies Unlimited’s stall in Mall of Asia. “Kadalasan ginagawa din nila itong pasalubong sa probinsiya,” she added.

    Multiply the gross sales by the number of outlets the company has and clearly the sum of all parts makes Brownies Unlimited a silent giant of a food company.

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