These rising food businesses share secrets in surviving the pandemic


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These rising food businesses share secrets in surviving the pandemic

Photos courtesy of Corndog 28 PH, Blake's Wings & Steaks, and Thai Mango's Facebook pages

Golden Grab Awards winners Blake’s Wings and Steaks, Thai Mango, and Corndog 28 are some of the new kids on the block

Editor’s note: This press release is sponsored by Grab and was handled by BrandRap, the sales and marketing arm of Rappler. No member of the news and editorial team participated in the publishing of this piece.

In the Food & Beverage (F&B) landscape, no restaurant owner is assured a win amid the highly competitive nature of the industry. And with the pandemic initially halting operations, restaurants were forced into an even tougher challenge of surviving the unexpected. 

Despite these challenges, however, it soon seemed that not all hope was lost for small and medium food businesses. Despite many competing brands and changes in customer habits, online food deliveries helped provide businesses another avenue to reach customers.  

While the online food delivery industry was already rising even before the pandemic, the shift from offline to online accelerated further when Filipinos were forced to stay at home. Since then, online food delivery services have become a way of life. 

“Food is a big part of our culture, and online food delivery opened a world of endless possibilities for us food-loving Filipinos. Now, any food craving can be satisfied with just a few taps on your phone. And we at GrabFood are proud to contribute to that satisfaction by providing Filipinos with the widest range of restaurant selection,” said Greg Camacho, GrabFood Philippines’ head.

Leading online food delivery service GrabFood consists of thousands of restaurants for Filipinos to choose from, including up-and-coming restaurants Blake’s Wings and Steaks, Thai Mango, and Corndog 28. More than just surviving the challenges of the pandemic, these businesses also brought home sought-after recognitions at the recent Golden Grab Awards 2021, which celebrated Grab’s best-performing merchant-partners.

Expanding reach and increasing sales

Known for its flavorful wings and steaks, casual dining restaurant Blake’s Wings and Steaks has been a GrabFood merchant-partner even before the pandemic. Starting out as a friendly neighborhood restaurant in Marikina, family-owned business Blake’s Wings and Steaks has since expanded to seven branches – all available for delivery via GrabFood.

With the delivery app’s “long-distance delivery” feature, the restaurant was able to even further expand its delivery range up to a 10KM radius, reaching even more customers across the metro.

“We got most of our sales from the Grab app – maybe 90% or even 95% come from the Grab app – so that’s really how Grab played a huge role in how we’re still thriving in the business now,” said Blake’s Wings and Steaks owner Joana Manalo.

Aside from their presence in GrabFood, Blake’s Wings and Steaks recognizes the importance of a well-curated online menu. Because of its visually appealing and creative menu options, they were given the “Menu Maven” award.

MENU MAVEN. Blake’s Wings & Steaks carefully curated its Grab menu.
No rest for the newbie

Aside from GrabFood’s Long Distance Delivery feature that expands restaurants’ delivery range, merchant-partners can also benefit from GrabFood’s 24/7 operations.

Thai Mango Dessert by Chef Kim, which was recognized as the “Newbie No More” at the Golden Grab Awards, is one of the many merchant-partners that acknowledge the positive impact of the 24-hour service. What they once thought would only work for big-name brands, the 24/7 operations helped their business expand to a new set of customers: the night shift workers.

With a goal of becoming the pioneer of 24/7 Thai food delivery, Thai Mango Dessert provides healthy options for those working at night or have late-night cravings. From one branch in March last year, this Newbie No More merchant-partner has now expanded to five branches across Metro Manila.

PAD THAI. This vegan twist on a Thai favorite is both guilt and gluten-free.
All packed and ready to go

A rise in online delivery services has also brought about the need for restaurants to adapt to a more delivery-friendly packaging that not only preserves the quality of their food, but also gives customers a more enjoyable eating experience.

Korean corndog food business Corndog 28 bagged the “Pack It Like It’s Hot” award because of their dedication to innovating through their packaging. Beyond being functional, Corndog 28 owner Eugene Leo Uy also stressed the importance of creating an attractive packaging.

“It’s one of the main entry points for the customer to really see and understand your product,” he shared. In the age of digital content creation, an aesthetically pleasing or “Instagrammable” dish is bound to make a restaurant more impactful to consumers.

PACKED GOODNESS. Corndog 28 went for a simple yet aesthetically pleasing packaging.
Rising up to the challenge

It goes without saying the pandemic took the world by surprise – but this did not stop Grab from rising up to the challenge of serving Filipinos. From being just a ride-hailing app to the super-app it is today, Grab now offers a food delivery service with GrabFood, an on-demand groceries and essentials service with GrabMart, a parcel delivery service with GrabExpress, and a safe and rewarding e-wallet with GrabPay.

“At the onset of the pandemic, movement was much more limited—even for a delivery service like us. But that challenge is what motivated us to find solutions to how we can provide Filipinos their cravings and essentials. Aside from customers who needed safe and convenient access to their essentials, we also had our delivery, driver, and merchant-partners to think of – and how we can continue to provide them with income opportunities,” said Anton Bautista, Grab Philippines’ head of deliveries.

GrabFood, first launched in the Philippines in 2018, is now available in 107 cities. As the company expanded its operations to more locations, even more merchant-partners have joined the platform, some even joining its GrabFood Signatures program which allows them to be available for delivery only on GrabFood and enjoy exclusive benefits and marketing opportunities from Grab. 

To encourage customers to continue supporting their favorite food businesses, Bautista assures that both customers and merchant-partners can look forward to more promos and features in the coming year, including an enhanced Self Pickup service for a more convenient ordering experience, as well as new offerings through GrabFood Signatures.

“With the country slowly easing back into the ‘old normal’, we anticipate more consumers choosing to eat out. Despite this, we at GrabFood are always thinking of opportunities to provide our merchant-partners the same level of support we’ve given them in the past two years. As we continue adapting, one thing is certain: We will continue to provide our fellow Filipinos with the safety and convenience they have relied on with us,” said Bautista. – Rappler.com

Hungry? Order these award-winning eats from GrabFood now!

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