While thousands of business owners in the Philippines have closed shops or temporarily halted their operations in the midst of the total lockdown implemented nationwide, Rico’s Lechon, Cebu’s best and internationally-acclaimed Lechon business pivots during the COVID-19 pandemic.
How Rico’s Lechon Pivots its Business During the Coronavirus Pandemic?
As soon as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon took effect on March 16, 2020, Rico’s Lechon stores, which operate around 12 stores in the Philippines and employing around 600 Filipinos also temporarily closed shops.
It is a known fact that the novelty of the Cebu Lechon can be best experienced in Rico’s Lechon restaurant, the ECQ makes it impossible to operate.
For one, stores are limited to delivery options only. Second, the strict measures of delivering fresh pigs for Lechon is strict and impossible to materialize. Despite its strong “word-of-mouth” and digital presence both via search and social, the restrictions make it impossible to deliver products cross-city of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
To be able to support the employees and at the same time still deliver the same old favorite Cebu Lechon, Serial Restaurateur, and International Award-winning CEO George Nocom Pua pivots the business: Frozen Lechon Packs, including Frozen Lechon.
From Freshly Roasted to Frozen Lechon
Yes, you heard it right.
George Nocom Pua shares in an interview with ANC New Channel’s Conversations:
“Before the lockdown, the Filipino market was not ready for frozen lechon. It was unheard of, and out restaurants were doing well. But we have to do something, so we started roasting Lechon just for our frozen products. These are not leftovers.”
The current market, with all the limitations of the “new normal”, citizens have changed their perspective on the concept.
RICO’s Frozen Packs comes in the following variants:
- 1/2 Regular Lechon (500 g)
- 1/4 REgular Lechon (250 g)
- Lechon Sisig (500 g)
- Lechon Paksiw (500 g)
- Dinuguan Special (500 g)
These Rico’s Lechon Frozen Packs are selling like hotcakes in the following stores:
- ➡️ LANDERS
- ➡️ LANDERS
- ➡️ SM HYPERMARKET
📍Alabang Zapote Road➡️ SM SUPERMARKET
📍Mega Mall B
📍Fairview➡️ SM SAVEMORE
📍Acacia Residences➡️ WALTER MART
📍 MAKATI CIRCUIT
📍 C5 LIBIS
📍 NEW MANILA
📍 SHAW BLVD
➡️ Southern Dairy
273 Aguirre Ave, BF Homes Paranaque
➡️ SHELL SELECT
1. Shell St. Ignacius Katipunan
2. Shell C5 Logcom
3. Shell Quezon Ave IBANK
4. Shell MH Del Pilar Malabon
5. Shell EDSA South Triangle
6. Shell Mindanao Ave
7. Shell Julia Vargas
8. Shell Kalayaan Teachers Village
9. Shell Pearl Drive
10. Shell Optimus Alabang Zapote
11. Shell West Service Road Cupang
- ➡️ SM HYPERMARKET
Customers can also order the said Food Packs through delivery using Grab Express or via takeout in its two available branches in Metro Manila (BGC and Tiendesitas)
Looking deeper into the process and the complexity of the production, one can see also the sleepless nights put into the crafting of the new packaging and production line, aside from the hidden complexity of logistics and retail distribution to more than a dozen supermarkets where it is currently being sold.
To pre-order you can contact Rico’s at 09178147648 or 0918880555 or visit Rico’s Lechon Official Facebook page.
No Dine-In. More Takeouts
As the guidelines of the ECQ only allows delivery and takeout, Rico’s Lechon also aimed to open its stores to the public, subscribing still to the rules and guidelines implemented by the local government units.
As much as they want to offer more time to serve the customer, with curfew they are opening stores from 10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM.
The food pack concept that Rico’s Lechon adapts, aside from raising the brand awareness of the Lechonmakes it possible for customers to store the popular Cebu Lechon product way longer than expected. That is plus points for foodies who want to have their share of Rico’s Lechon daily.
Business Pivot During the COVID-19 is Essential
Coronavirus Pandemic has forced thousands of local and small brick and mortar businesses to a close, or indefinite halt.
Working around the scenario, Rico’s Lechon chose to look for other alternatives where the same product is served but using a different model now widely accepted by diners in response to the challenges of the time.
Business owners should look at the situation as an opportunity for growth. You might not be able to open your actual store location yet, but at least search for opportunities or the medium on how you can still make your brand or product relevant to your target customers.
This is where Rico’s Lechon stood out from its peers. While other Lechon house are limited to available products, Rico’s Lechon products are not only available in-store but to all the malls where it is currently distributed.
This is one thing that we can learn from Rico’s Lechon’s CEO.
We might be forced to temporarily close our business until the lockdowns are lifted, CEO George Nocom Pua chooses to find ways to ensure Rico’s Lechon will still be on every table of its avid customers, providing the company another sales stream, ultimately providing means of continued employment to its thousands of employees, he considers family. (M. Pabroa)
Rico’s Lechon is a 360 digital marketing client of ESTRAT Digital Marketing Company.