Among all food chains in the Philippines, one that is undeniably tasty and is loved by all age groups is the roasted chicken of Mang Inasal. But, how did a simple roasted chicken barbecue sold that billions of peso to the Filipino people? What were the keys to its huge success? Let us all find out as we look into the success story of the best tasting chicken, Mang Inasal.
Mang Inasal is a local business established in Iloilo City in 2003. This business’ main product is the chicken barbecue, thus the name ‘inasal’, a hiligaynon term for barbecue. The business was founded by an Edgar Sia II, a dropout from college taking up BS Architecture. Since the owner is a college dropout, most lending companies and suppliers did not trust him with capital. But Sia believed that he can and went on to opening up the business. Mang Inasal’s first store was located at the Robinson’s Mall Car Park in Iloilo. Most have thought that this was not a strategic move for the place has been unoccupied for almost three years, and people were just ignoring the stalls there. But Mang Inasal proved them wrong, because it was immediately well received by the consumers to the time it was established.
Because it was an instant success, Sia decided to expand the business once he had gained the needed capital. He first reached out to proximate localities in Mindanao and Visayan region. It was really surprising that the Hiligaynon recipe was well loved by all people from different places. Because the market was good for the business, in 2005, Sia decided to open the business for franchise. However, just a year after franchising, the Philippines faced rice shortages. Prices rocketed high, and supplies went down. But despite that, Sia has thought of a promo which he called “Unli Rice” servings. This started in his Manila stores. Despite the shortages, Sia has contacted a lot of cheap suppliers where he can get his stuff for his stores. It was supposedly just a two-month promo, but because of the massive increase in sales and really great feedbacks from his customers, he decided to make it a permanent feature in his business.
By 2008, Mang Inasal has already 23 branches, 10 of which are franchised by different individuals. During the same time, the business has been earning millions already. Sia has then become the billionaire, nobody thought he could be just because he is a college dropout. This business was really one of the instant explosions in the Philippine market. By 2010, since Sia has now achieved financial stability, he decided to sell 70% of the company’s share to Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC) for a total of P3 Billion. The business continued on expanding, and by March 204 it has already 460 stores all over the country. Just recently, the remaining 30% of the shares were also sold to JFC by the Business founder. This just means that Mang Inasal is now under the full control of JFC.
Mang Inasal’s success really took everyone by surprise, so a lot of food experts and business enthusiasts looked into the decisions Sia made that made the business successful. There are four major features, that they have noticed, which made Mang Inasal a success. These are: patronization of the local, taste and competitive price, unlimited rice concept, and ambiance of the store.
Patronization of the local goods really account for the business success. As one would remember, when the business was just starting suppliers denied Sia of the stuff he needed. It was the local community who offered him what he needed. He chose local products such as the coal, chicken and banana leaves, which he got from the local and small-time producers. Since it is locally produced, Sia has saved a lot of money, and at the same time was able to help that particular community. Now, Mang Inasal continues that principle of helping local communities, like that of Banana Leaves supplier in Guimaras.
Mang Inasal’s taste and competitive price is also among its ingredients to success. Sia’s primary target market are among the lower middle class, so he thought of making the price ‘friendly’ and ‘swak sa budget’. Moreover, Sia has copied the original Hiligaynon Inasal recipe which is really taste booming with exquisite flavors. Tying this two, price and taste, Mang Inasal really caught the market’s attention.
The third one is the “Unli Rice Concept”. This, going back to the original line of story, was originally set to just last for two months. But because people loved it, and Sia received a lot of positive feedbacks about it, it became a permanent feature of the store. Why was it received that way? Because Filipinos love RICE. It actually is treated as the star of every Filipino meal. Thus, many has enjoyed this promo.
The last ingredient, Sia made use was the ambiance of the store. Typically, Inihaw or Grilling stores are smoky, hot and not suitable for family dinners or barkada gatherings. However, Mang Inasal started as a simple store, though not air conditioned at first,m but properly ventilated. It also has good interiors designs that make it more appealing and appetizing.
All in all, those four are the top secrets why Mang Inasal exploded as a successful business. But, alongside those, it should be acknowledged that Edgar Sia II is the one most responsible for its success. Being a college dropout that he is, he was never ashamed that he chose to be an entrepreneur rather than a college graduate. What mattered to him during that time, is proving to himself that he can. His unrelenting passion and dedication has pushed him to aspire for better things. Despite being let down for countless of times, Sia always remembered to get back up and stand against all negativities. That’s his key for his success which he later on shared to his business fellows.