(Source: Business Inquirer)
EIGHTEEN years after setting up Binalot, entrepreneur Rommel Juan is ready to bring his proprietary Filipino restaurant chain to the global market. And like the early days of the offshore expansion of Jollibee Food Corp., Juan’s Binalot plans to build up a critical mass with the help of the overseas Filipino community.
The first overseas market on Juan’s list is the United Arab Emirates, where Binalot recently awarded a franchise to the Al Ahli Holding group—the same group earlier reported to be working on a “Little Manila” strip in Dubai. Other homegrown brands that this group plans to bring to Dubai are Jay-J’s (Filipino restaurant), Fruitas (tropical fruit shake retailer), Mochicreme (ice cream), Zagu (pearl milk shake) and Fiftea (milk tea).
Juan told Biz Buzz that the UAE franchisee would help Binalot expand throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), referring to the political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries. He said the target would be to open 21 stores in the GCC region within five years.
“We are bringing a taste of home to our fellow Filipinos who are residing or working abroad. For our next venture, we are looking at the United States and possibly Singapore or Malaysia where we see a dense population of Filipinos,” Juan said.
Binalot is known for having food wrapped in banana leaves. But even if Dubai isn’t a tropical country, the group is lucky because banana leaves are available in the territory right now, Juan said. With Filipinos forming more than 20 percent of the Dubai population, Juan is optimistic that Binalot has a niche in the food community. Doris C. Dumlao.
(Source: Business Mirror)
FILIPINO fast-food chain Binalot was recently awarded a single-country franchise by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based conglomerate Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG), who will offer the brand to the Arab country.
“We know the Filipinos in Dubai are excited about this development,” said Rommel Juan, founder and CEO of the wrapped rice-meals brand.
“With Filipinos forming more than 20 percent of the Dubai population, we know Binalot has a place in its food community.Al Ahli is the partner we have been looking for,” Juan said.
The AAHG is a diversified conglomerate set to bring a number of Filipino franchises to the UAE, starting in Dubai and then expanding to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council nations, namely, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain,Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the UAE.
“We will stay as close as possible to the Binalot brand’s proprietary look and product mix,” said Parvez Naqvi, head of Al Ahli’s international business development team.
The group signed franchising agreements with five other food and beverage brands—Jay-j’s Inasal, Fruitas, Mochi Creme, Zagu and Fiftea. The six food offerings will be marketed in the UAE under the retail-food concept of Little Manila with the first store to be opened in the Dubai Outlet Mall by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
AAHG previously said it intends to grow to 20 outlets by 2020.
By Pacita U. Juan
October 04, 2014
(This week’s Business Mentor features a guest columnist, Pacita “Chit” Juan. Born to a family of entrepreneurs, she many has established many start-ups since college days in the University of the Philippines. She also pioneered work in social entrepreneurship through ECHOstore and other sustainability-themed businesses. She was named Ernst & Young Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2011 and Go Negosyo Social Entrepreneur Starpreneur Award in 2011.)
MANILA, Philippines — James Mazo, a former project manager of Duty Free Philippines, and Hotel and Restaurant management graduate Wilma Paduga both believe that entrepreneurship empowers an individual which results in emotional fulfillment, self-actualization and social responsibility.
October 2, 2014
18 years of Binalot
In any business, getting past four years is considered a mean feat. By the 10th year, it has hurdled the worst. From then on, every succeeding year is a well-deserved celebration.
This month, Binalot, which made famous its range of traditional Filipino food by wrapping them in banana leaves, is celebrating its 18th anniversary with nothing but good news.
“We just keep going with the flow. I was barely out of college when I, along with some friends and relatives, started Binalot. What we then thought was an experiment in food delivery in the Makati Business District is happily a full-blown restaurant and franchise company today,” related brand and concept founder Rommel Juan.
On the venture’s 18th year, Juan has decided to take “Binalot to the next level” and in fact tested the market in the United Arab Emirates if the chain would excite the huge Filipino community over there.
“The good news is that the response has been very positive, with our fellow Filipinos in the UAE always looking for the flavors of our Tapa RapSarap and Bistek Walastik in banana leaves,” the businessman enthused. “So it’s a very happy 18th birthday for us because many new things are coming our way.”
Incidentally, Binalot is participating in the annual Filipino Franchise Show organized by the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc from today through October 5 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. The chain is also running an anniversary raffle promo across its 45 Binalot branches around the country. For more information, log on to www.binalot.com.
30 years of Rufo’s ‘tapa’
Thirty years ago, a hole-in-the-wall eatery in Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City opened up to serve a dish of Filipino beef tapa whose delicious sauce set it apart from the rest. Countless orders and 21 stores later, the same tender and juicy beef strips with a rich and sweet sauce have made Rufo’s an institution in casual Pinoy dining.
Besides the chain’s legendary tapsilog (beef tapa, garlic rice and fried egg), the restaurant also serves other comfort food dishes such as Mushroom Adobo, Bulalo, Chicken Tinola, and Pork Humba among others.
“We continue to serve delicious and affordable Filipino food that can be enjoyed by customers 24/7,” related Rufo’s president, Paul Izon Reyes.
To mark its 30th year, Reyes told The Manila Times that a new food line-up dubbed “Cooking ng Ina Mo” has been launched to offer its patrons more lutong bahay delights.
“Just how mom used to make them,” he quipped. “Then and now Rufo’s continues to be about good food—simple Filpino meals shared among family and friends, which in our culture, always makes for the best memories.”
Besides the new menu, Rufo’s is also working to hit complete its 30 branch in celebration of its 30th year. For more information, log on to www.rufos.com.ph.
By Lydia D. Castillo
September 28, 2014
We remember some of our farm hands who, at lunch time, would pull out what looked like a ball from their bags, then start unwrapping it. It was a square of banana leaf, holding a mound of rice, a fried fish, sometimes meat, and a tomato. With their hands they ate with gusto their baon – a packed meal, the banana leaf serving as their lunch box.
This way of eating did not escape the creative mind of a young man, Rommel, who thought of adopting and selling packed meals in this native way. Just out of university he plunged into his pet project, Binalot, which was a meal packed in banana leaf, sold in his first outlet. He was not without encouragement from his siblings and an aunt, the enterprising entrepreneur Chit.
By: Ige Ramos
September 29th, 2014
Isa ang binalot sa mga kinagisnang paraan na pag-iimbak ng pagkain ng mga Pilipino. Karaniwan itong ginagawa upang hindi mahirapan sa pagbibitbit ng baon na pagkain.
Susong-susong na sinalab na dahon ng saging ang ginagawang pambalot sa kanin na may kasamang ulam, karaniwan ay tapa, tocino, pritong isda o adobo na may kaunting salsa, at sinamahan ng atsara, hiniwang kamatis at itlog na maalat.
Mahigpit ang pagkakabalot ng sinalab na dahon ng saging kaya hindi madaling mapanis ang pagkain, na nagkakaroon din ng kakaibang samyo at lasa.
Subalit sa hirap makahanap ng dahon ng saging sa mga lungsod, ang pagbabalot ay napalitan ng mga sisidlang plastik. Kaya naman, naisipan ni Rommel Juan ang isang eksperimento sa paghahatid ng pagkain sa mga tanggapan sa Makati noong 2006.
Kasama ang kanyang kaibigan, kuya, dalawang kapatid na babae at ang kanilang tiyahin ay itinayo niya ang Binalot.
Ano ang sikreto sa tagumpay ng Binalot?
1. The “BINALOT @18: Celebrate 18 Festive Years With Us!” raffle promo will run from September 8-November 8, 2014.
2. To join, customer must drop his/her official business card with signature in designated drop boxes at any participating Binalot store.
3. There will be 18 winners of “18 Binalot Fiesta Meals sa Bilao” consisting of the following: Pancit Canton, Pancit Bihon, Sisig na Makisig, Vivo Tocino, Pride Tilapia, Daing na bangus, Bistek Walastic, Inihaw na Baboy, Fiesta Adobo, All Chicken Adobo, All Pork Adobo and Rice.
4. The raffle draw will be held at BFFI Head Office at 3686 BUJ Bldg. Sun Valley Subd., Paranaque City on November 18, 2014.
5. Participant may only win once.
6. Prizes cannot be transferred or converted to cash
7. Winners shall be notified by telephone and registered mail based on the contact details in the calling card submitted.
8. Prizes not claimed within sixty (60) calendar days from receipt of notification from Binalot Fiesta Foods, Inc. (BFFI) shall be forfeited and retained by BFFI. Winner must present a valid company ID and the official letter from BFFI to claim the prize.
9. Winners authorize BFFI to publish their names, photos and other particulars determined by BFFI to any person/s and in any mode or manner as BFFI may deem appropriate.
10. Employees and family members of Binalot Fiesta Foods, Inc., Binalot franchisees and their respective subsidiaries and suppliers including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are not qualified to join this promotion.
By Arno Maierbrugger
In the footsteps of the Philippines’ largest fast food chain, Jollibee, which is very expansive in the GCC countries — Gulf Times reported — another restaurant brand, Binalot Fiesta Foods, is the next one to make its foray into the Gulf. Binalot CEO Rommel Juan recently said in Manila that a first Binalot store will be opened in Dubai shortly, and more will follow in other GCC countries.
Target group for Binalot restaurants are mostly Oversea Filipino Workers (OFWs), as the restaurant serves traditional Filipino food such as adobo, bistek, tapas, tocino, sisig and longganisa, all in traditional sauces and most dishes served in banana leaves, Binalot’s trademark.