The breakfast business is a good place to start. We need a lot of things just to get it running. First, a separate stove to monitor gas usage, a totally separate kitchen in fact. Then, we need tables to display the food and another table for those who want to eat on the spot. Relatively small, but we can work it out as we see good potential.
Preparing to Start Off
Our initial capital is 15,000PHP. Quite big if you think about it, but we are starting from scratch, making all the expenses going to materials we need. We went to Divisoria to save up with the costs, brought 2 tables, utensils, plates, and a huge umbrella for cover. We have a good amount to spare for food inventory, including an extra to handle a few months of regular costs like gas. It definitely is not much, but most of them are good enough for starting up.
As for the type of breakfast, we planned on the typical silog, fried rice with egg, and anything that best matches to it. Every Filipino knows what a silog is, and they almost match to anything. We also noticed that no one is offering pancakes in the area, so we planned adding those in our lineup.
Most were still experimental stocks anyway, checking which ones are good sellers and which ones are not. Should there be no hard sellers, we plan to just remove them rather than the other stocks shoulder the losses. We have Tapa, Longganisa, Hotdogs, Ma-ling, Tocino, and Torta as initial offerings for the Silog lineup. Also in the lineup are Pancakes, and Pansit / Chinese Noodles.
Adding and Removing Inventory
The first few days, there was not much movement in the business. There are some good sellers, such as the pansit, torta and ma-ling. The pancakes were doing really well, gets sold out often. Tapa on the other hand, does not sell well. Longganisa does sell, but a very slow rate. Out of 5 stocks, we only get to regularly sell 3. It was not boding well, we have to consider out other takes.
People have the initial impression that beef is expensive, so we removed Tapa. We added skinless longganisa to the batch. With the move, we removed what does not sell – and the most expensive stock – and cover the regular ones. We also added sandwiches, an initial batch of 10 chicken sandwiches each morning, to see whether it would do fine. With those in our lineup, we did well. The pancakes really are great sellers, and no, not hotcakes but pancakes.
Keeping The Balance
The difficult part in selling food is to keep the costs as low as possible so you could sell at a lower price without sacrificing much on the net income. Our goal is great quality food, so we need to make sure that our food tastes great, especially to those which we make ourselves. Ma-ling and hotdogs have already given tastes, longganisa, we get our stocks from a supplier in the market who we know well. Marge has long since perfected her torta, and the sunny sides are perfectly done, without burnt, brown edges. We also notice that people prefer to eat fried rice that has less oil, and the pansit should really have taste in them. As for pancakes, the expensive bit is the syrup. So we did some research and made the syrup ourselves. The ingredients for making syrup costs us about 120PHP, but that is good for 2 regular sized syrup bottles sold in groceries.
As for sandwiches, the income is not that great but since is a great seller; we still add them to our lineup. For us, it only costs 10 pesos, a pretty good price point for a sandwich. One competitor noticed, and even got a supplier to supply them with sandwiches as well, with an edge that it is a 3-bread sandwich. Our regulars tried it yet went back to our sandwiches. I believe the reason is the taste, which we prioritized well in making them. Since then, we added 2 more sandwich types, tuna and egg. All of them are doing well of course, and we were eventually known in the area as the makers of good sandwiches and pancakes.
What’s Behind The Breakfast Business?
It seems to be working out quite well, but on the backside of things, they are not. We do get an income, but they were at a minimal level. We’ve worked on that for 3 months, and after the initial try out of 3 months, we noticed that our income per month only reached 1,000+ PHP at best. Not good, cannot even cover the hard work we’ve been putting on. With the business, it seems like I am working for 2 shifts. I start my regular job at 4am until 12 midnight, then starting at 12 I do the initial preparing of food. Wake up Marge at around 2am to start cooking, then prepare to start by 5:30 to 6:00am. I am also the one to set-up her store that time and will only get to sleep at around 8:00 am. In my count, it does not justify both our efforts with just a net income of 1,000 pesos. We have to think back and despite the good sales and a number of regulars, we have to call it quits.
It is a pain to think that we were doing well and yet despite our biggest efforts, we were welcomed with poor income. But of course, we cannot say over to everything. We just have to rethink our strategy and come up with a different approach in offering food.