How to Start a Carinderia / Eatery Business in the Philippines
For us Filipinos, we are fond of remembrance, and one such reminder is our away from home. Yes, even in simple routines such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they evoke memories of our home. Eateries, or carinderias in local words, are a simple way to remember those memories of good home-cooked meals, as opposed to the structured lifestyle of fast-food.
Most of the time people who dine in carinderias go for the sole purpose of the authenticity of the meals provided as they are cooked their just like in our houses. For the taste, variety, quality, and affordability in comparison with other food businesses, the humble carinderia cannot be beat!
If you are wanting to start up your own carinderia or eatery business, these helpful tips and reminders can guide you to success!
Your investment should be able to cover the lot, store renovations, equipment, inventory, and expenses. Assess the lot size you have and identify how much space is available for the kitchen and dining area.
Most of the usual equipment that is used are a wok fryer, 2 burner stove top, bain marie (display tray for the food), rice cooker, and a refrigerator.
Unlike restaurants, you do not have to follow a strict guideline on food safety, but it is still advised to maintain quality in the meals you serve. You may buy your equipment secondhand, but be aware of the risks of maintaining and acquiring obscure spare parts.
2. Register your business
No one wants go where there’s no guarantee to safely eat your dishes. Aside from reputation, legalizing your business may make you eligible for tax incentives or exemptions as well as acquiring better terms with your creditors and suppliers.
For sole proprietorships and partnerships, you can register with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). For corporations, you must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
3. Prepare your menu
Carinderias often follow a set list of food to be prepared for the week. A schedule can help you organize your ingredients better for their allocation for a specific day and avoid wastage.
The main attention-grabber for this business is the variety of dishes you can serve which can cater to many different customers of varying taste.
Popular breakfast options are the “silog” dishes and champorado. For lunch, you can choose to cook afritada, adobo, sinigang, longanisa. The most common merienda served is goto and arroz caldo. Dinner can be just a similar set-up as lunch.
Important to thing to remember, is to taste your food as this will be what customers will be coming for and if they taste something that shouldn’t be there, be prepare for a barrage of complaints. Customers deserve quality food to be served, so the least you can do is taste your own dishes to gauge their tastefulness.
4. Find a good location
As your business showcases a variety of dishes at a low price, it is generally a good idea to set up where is high foot traffic. Your usual customers will be office workers, blue-collar workers, students, and adjacent neighbors.
You can annex your carinderia beside your house if you are able to, as this will save you from rent, capital, and monthly expenses.
5. Keep the place clean
A common issue that is rampant among these types of businesses are rodent and insect infestation, so much that they may contaminate the food or be accidentally cooked with the dish.
You must guarantee that your food is safe to eat as your customers will be wary for this types of establishments.
Things like sanitizing your utensils in hot water with anti-bacterial solutions, disposing your garbage immediately, proper segregation of equipment to avoid contamination, sweeping the floor often, and keeping out stray animals are just one of the few things you can do to avoid a health code violation.
6. Set down rules
Just because you don’t have the same strict standards as a restaurant doesn’t mean you are to just let it run amok, you must establish professionalism. Your management will determine the profitability of your carinderia – just like any other business.
A few simple rules to just guide you would be is to make your customers pay up, and that includes family. Respect means that you have a business to take care of and you cannot afford freeloading – for now at least.
Another thing you should do is keep track of inventory to know their expiration dates, how much you have so you can know if your staff are using them for their own consumption.