The couple behind this Zamboanga brand has gone through all phases of a food business, and are now ready to share their formula for success.
If you can’t find the food you want, why don’t you make it yourself? Husband and wife Allen and Marie Angelique Go, owners of Chinito’s Asian Kitchen, ended up doing just that when they moved to Zamboanga City after their previous careers compelled them to relocate to the south. “When we moved to Zamboanga, we could not eat the food that we were used to back in Manila. That was how it all began,” says Allen.
Established in 1997, Chinito’s started as a food kiosk in Zamboanga’s Mindpro Citimall, offering familiar Asian cuisine served in boxes. With a startup capital of P250,000 and two people on the staff, the Gos tried offering a number of food items until they found a niche in offering cua pao (steamed sweet buns) and rice toppings. On the side, they delivered food to hospital and school canteens on consignment. They were able to set up two more kiosks within three years, until they opened their own restaurant carrying the same brand in 2000.
As if running all these ventures weren’t enough to keep the couple busy, the Gos eventually went into catering. Their restaurant’s limited capacity could not adequately address the high demand for venues for corporate and other big gatherings. Catering was the way for the Gos to capture part of that big market. In 2001, all four aspects of the business—kiosks, delivery, restaurant, and catering—were running.