Starting a food business in the Philippines can be tough (specially during a pandemic), but when done right, it can be your ticket to great success. So if you are an entrepreneur that really wants to give this a go, here are some tips from French Baker founder Johnlu Koa on how you can keep the business afloat, while also being profitable during the pandemic.
1. Find new trends and opportunities in the new normal
If there’s one thing that never changes, it’s the desire for people to always try something new. This is true when it comes to food, as we have seen people go crazy over fusion food and the like.
For the French Baker founder, he saw this as a huge opportunity to incorporate these trends to their offerings.
“We have introduced an array of new products such as gluten-free, artisan rye sourdough, vegetarian siopao, tortilla wraps, and Korean cream cheese buns,” Koa said.
2. Take advantage of technology
Now that it’s easier for businesses to be more visible than ever, Koa said that they tapped on online suppliers to combat the delay in imports caused by the pandemic. They also went the online route in selling their products and took advantage of online delivery platforms.
“The nexus of our survival strategy hinges on our ability to improve on productivity and the ability to identify new market segments such as tapping on to online markets, looking at the needs of other QSR brands that needed supply solutions due to import disruptions caused by port congestion and the like,” Koa said.
“Basically, this is an import substitution business model for bakery products that offer substantial benefits in terms of reliability and cost efficiency,” he added.
3. Find an emotional connection with your customers
Like every other product, you need to give your consumers a reason to buy again. And for Koa, he thinks customer service and the way you package your business are crucial to customer retention.
“You can pirate a product but you cannot pirate an experience,” Koa says. “You can pirate a person but you cannot pirate an experience that resides within the four walls of your store because the owners’ value system may differ from yours.”