Binalot Fiesta Foods Inc. has reorganized in preparation to pursuing an aggressive expansion program locally as well overseas to cater the OFWs, particularly in the Asean region.
Binalot owner-Chief Executive Officer Rommel Juan said the company has close to 50 stores now, most of them are franchise stores, but is slowly building up more company-owned stores this year.
Juan said 7 stores are opening up this year with P3.5 million average investments. Majority of its stores are located in Metro Manila where there is a strong demand by urbanites to experience the traditional Filipino comfort food wrapped in banana leaves.
In an extremely competitive quick service restaurant category, Juan said Binalot chose to be part of the niche market where it has a significant share to be able to compete more effectively in the business.
“It is significant share to be able to compete more effectively ion the business. It is working on reaching beyond its core market by exploring other market opportunities like the delivery market and Asean market,” Juan said.
The reorganization aims to bring in more experienced management team that should strengthen franchise support structure and enhance brand performance by identifying market opportunities.
“We need a well-rounded team to execute the program starting this 4th quarter of 2014 with the opening of more Binalot stores in key cities of the country. This may also mean that we will put up Binalot stores outside the country where there is a critical mass of OFWs and distribute Pinoy products there. This will entail looking for strategic partners in international markets we plan to enter,” Juan said.
For the new management team, Binalot has brought in experienced practitioners in the food business. Irene Lucas, who has many years of experience in the operations and supply chain management of a coffee shop chain, has been tapped as Chief Operating Officer.
The company has also named Angelito Banaag, a veteran in handling food service operations and business development, particularly in franchise operations, as chief finance officer.
Heading the franchising group is Mary Panganiban who has been with Binalot for seven years handling franchise management.
The marketing team will be reinforced by social entrepreneur, owner-director Chit Juan.
Now that the reorganization has been completed, the next step will be strengthening of the operational system, reinforcing the Binalot brand and reviewing more possible store sites that have great potential both here and in the region.
“The management team will start with streamlining our in-house operations, fixing company standards and addressing the concerns of the franchisees such as handling stiff competition, maintaining standards and improving food quality. In keeping with the changing times, the Binalot image will get a reboot and some stores will soon be sporting a new, modern design”, he said.
As part of strengthening the Binalot brand, a stronger following in the different regions of the country will be developed with the introduction of more products that are unique to the region. “And if we ever decide to set foot on the regional export market, we plan to distribute house brands like fish sauce (patis), seasonings and adobo sauce to other countries. We are optimistic about this because Binalot is a brand with Pinoy products that will remind OFWs of food the family had shared and the way they were cooked and served,” he explained.
Juan said that Binalot is also eyeing the OFWs not only as a food-consuming market but also as a rich base of potential entrepreneurs.
“We will encourage them to be entrepreneurs as well and invest in a Binalot store franchise. Despite the competitive environment, a food franchise is still the most acceptable, reliable and easy-to-learn concept in the food business. In the case of Binalot, its franchise package is one of the most affordable and it ensures a shorter payback period. We have built a remarkable brand backed by a solid management team and a strong corporate culture. These are what we are proud of,” he said.