Ordering baby back ribs can set you back upwards of P300 if you go to a fast-food joint or a restaurant. Hoping to democratize pork ribs, Dr. Christine Estacio and Dr. Joebert Gimeno built a business aimed at giving Filipinos a taste of the barbequed cut of meat for as low as P99.
With Lady Christine’s Baby Back Ribs, the two now hope to reach a wider market by adding more outlets through franchising. As of June, the business has two take-out counters and a full-size restaurant in Imus, Cavite. Soon, they will add stores in SM Bacoor, SM Dasmariñas, and SM Lipa. So far, all the outlets are in the south of Manila, but eventually the founders want a nationwide presence.
“We want to reward Filipinos with good food,” says Estacio of why she and Gimeno decided to serve affordable back ribs at Lady Christine’s. With pork rib meals priced from P99 to P175, the beef rib meals from P180 to P250, and the Pork Party Slab, which is good for eight to 10 people, for only P1,100, their prices are hard to beat. “We want to make ribs available across customer classes. Our take-out counter was conceived to make the dish available to anyone at an affordable price.”
Lady Christine’s opened its first take-out counter in Kawit, Cavite in 2011. But the P99 mini-baby-back-ribs meal turned out to be such a success that in 2012, the owners opened their first dine-in restaurant, which was eventually relocated to Lancaster Square in Imus. The menu now also includes sausages, sandwiches, and burgers.
Says Gimeno, “We see franchising as an opportunity and a vehicle to bring our products to people from other places, ultimately covering Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.”
But they are also cautious with the expansion. “We want to make sure that our logistics setup will be able to efficiently cover all of our franchisees at any given point in time. That’s why we study and do prospecting of the location before we accept a franchisee,” he adds.
Photos: Heidi Aquende
This article was originally published in the May 2014 issue of Entrepreneur magazine. Subscribe to the print or digital version here.
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