STORY / ENTREPRENEURSHIP
A lot of food businesses had to shut down during the crisis. Now with the implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), restrictions are loosened up, but still, sales are bleak and consumers are nervous. We asked Pan de Amerikana’s Jundio Salvador, how he was able to innovate to keep things going for the business.
What is your business and what do you offer?
Our business is a bakery and themed restaurant. We have a chess-themed restaurant in Marikina and an upside-down restaurant in Quezon City). We sell 1950s bread products in our bakery which are Pandesal, Ensaymada, Pan Amerikano, Pan de Coco, Biscocho, loaf bread. All made with high grade wheat floud, raw sugar, with no preservatives at all. For the restaurant, we offer regional Filipino lutong bahay favorites like the Waknatoy from Marikina, Tinomok from Bicol, Dinakdakan from Ilocos, Bacolod chicken inasal, La Paz batchoy and others.
What opportunities did you lose when the lockdown was implemented?
Due to the lockdown, we were not able to continue with all our normal day-to-day operations. The main facility we lost was our dine-in area which meant that we lost all opportunities to provide for venue rental, events place, catering.
How did you do during the lockdown period? Did bounce back help you?
The whole business shut down for about a month. Knowing we would need to start working again under this ‘new normal’, we joined Bounce Back PH and attended the webinars provided therein. We learned a lot from these webinars such as “food re-engineering,” “simplification of menu,” “pivot,” “lifeline,” “new hat,” “collaboration,” “contactless,” “digitization” and many more that helped use to actually start bouncing back.
How did you innovate the way you sold your products to bounce back from the crisis?
From what we learned from the various webinars we attended through Bounce Back PH, we held meetings every day with our skeletal staff through video call and planned and implemented the following:
What is your advice to the Bounce Back community?
#1 IT’S OK TO BE AFRAID AND UNCERTAIN!
The pandemic came unexpectedly and forced a lot of our lives to stop. It is normal that we felt afraid and uncertain for the future. What drove us to pivot our business? The 19 employees who were staying at our staff rooms while we were closed down for a whole month.
As an entrepreneur, our major concern is the livelihood and safety of the families of our 42 staff.
#2 NON-STOP PLANNING
For the 1 month we closed operations, we planned day after day with the family and our company leaders on what to do, assessed our available resources and manpower, and set small goals for our pivotal business scheme.
#3 HAVE A PLAN A,B,C,D…up to Z
Always have backup plans because your initial plan won’t always be the best plan.
#4 PRIORITIZE LIFE
We prioritize the value of life so in keeping up with the new normal, we devised a plan to maintain CONTACTLESS & SAFE handling of our products through a DRIVE-THRU / WALK-THRU scheme using long wooden paddles for payments and handing out of our goods. Some other things we learned from Bounce Back PH webinars:
“Creativity is at its peak when you are having fun”
“Find your Strength and grab Opportunities in times of Threat and Weakness
“Start something NEW”
“Hyperlocal is the Trend”
“Make your presence felt”
“99% are glued to social media”
“Keep your customers entertained”