Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 22, 2011
Today’s entrepreneurs are into a new secret: Open in the province, and avoid Metro Manila’s high rent and labor.
Come to think of it: Franchises follow the suggested retail prices whether they are in Manila or are in a provincial mall. But rental rates
and labor costs are much cheaper in the provinces, by as much as 20-30 %. This is one of the secrets unlocked by Binalot franchisee Ken Clemente. The 20- something , very youthful entrepreneur finished his college studies in DeLa Salle, but decided to move back to Legazpi, Albay to open his Binalot franchise.
“The labor cost is lower than Manila and the rental rates are much lower, too,” confirms Clemente. All the savings of course spell profit for this young entrepreneur who comes from a family of business people. Barely a year into his franchise, Clemente is already looking for a second site, this time in a mall in Legazpi. “I’ve tried a stand alone location, and it has its advantages of being near the offices in Old Albay, so I have many regulars who work in the area,” he says. “But I also want to try the mall so I can cater to students and other markets,” he exclaims.
Last summer, Clemente also set up a satellite store in Donsol, Sorsogon to cater to the tourists who come to the area for the Butanding or whale shark experience.
Binalot , now 15 years old and franchising for almost ten years now, has been getting an increasing number of applications from provincial franchise applicants. “We just opened in Dagupan City,” says Rommel Juan, multi-awarded CEO and President of the truly Filipino Food experience. “We will be open to more franchises in the provincial areas also because of our enriching experience with franchisees like Ken Clemente, who even brings to the table many local dishes which helps our menu development,” he continues.
Binalot has been awarded for its Corporate Social Responsibility programs in getting banana leaves from farming communities while keeping to its core strength of environmental awareness and being Filipino in taste and culture.
Binalot will be featured in the 10th Filipino Franchise Show of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) at the World Trade Center on July 21-24. On July 21, Rommel Juan will also be speaking about Binalot’s CSR program at the CSR Conference of the League of Corporate Foundations in SMX July 20-21, 2011.