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BIGGS pivots from dine-in to digital

The 38-year old Bicol-born BIGGS is now online.

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There’s a common plotline among stories of brands moving into the digital space: the need to scale up, expand its demographics, or make up for a cool portfolio. For 38 year-old Bicol-born restaurant chain BIGGS, it’s simply to let its customers continue the dining experience at home.

2020, of course, played the key role: quarantine regulations kept everyone at home. This meant restaurants trying to thrive through a business model that’s built around social interaction and the togetherness that ‘dining in’ actually is. With no clear timelines as to when customers would come back, restaurants scrambled to cut costs on all corners, grow its delivery segment, and even diversify its products. 

But instead of simply looking for means to survive, BIGGS found a way to thrive. To do this, they didn’t look very far: it’s a picture of a BIGGS customer who’s alone in the kitchen. He’s looking through his fridge for an easy-prep, delicious, filling comfort food which he can make with the help of a pan, an oven, or a grill. Along comes the bestselling Biggs Ready-To-Cook Ribs

Half a year later with over ten products and twelve more in the pipeline, the brand straddles the future by reigning in both the digital (with a vibrant e-commerce page) and retail spaces (being in over 50 stores in Metro Manila and Bicol).

While the product is already there–the Ribs being one of its flagship products for years–launching it in a platform so new and in a year so challenging is another story.

Here are five (5) of the key steps BIGGS took to successfully pivot itself to e-commerce.

  1. Talk to your customers. For BIGGS, it’s not only looking at past sales performances to determine which product to develop but to have its customers be product co-creators. Through surveys, focus group discussions, and interviews–all done online–BIGGS asked its customers on how frequent they cook in a week, the food preparation methods they are looking for, even the flavor profiles they prefer.
  2. Invest in Creatives. The e-commerce space is peppered with compelling visuals and rich content. The competition for attention is stiff. By having its in-house team work with creative suppliers, BIGGS is able to come up with fresh content every time through its many social media platforms.
  3. Build relationships with an enabler. Besides being a landscape for creatives, the e-commerce space requires efficiencies to be made in the logistics, inventory, web development and operations departments. An enabler company builds these synergies within its team or outside to bridge these gaps.
  4. After building an incredible website, invest in paid ads. In many cases, the website will be very much like a physical store: it requires careful construction, regular upkeep and constant improvements. Driving customers to it is another story. Driving traffic through organic content works to some extent, but with tight competition coupled with continuous changes in social media algorithms, it’s going to be a slow burn. Paid ads ensure the visibility of your products to your target audiences and guarantee optimal sales conversion.
  5. Strike a balance between what you have (both product and data) and what your customers like. Fortunately, BIGGS already had a hero product in mind–the BIGGS Ribs. What needed to happen is to reformat this restaurant hit into something its customers can prepare at home with limited tools. Making data-driven decisions–supported by rich data found in its e-commerce systems–help the brand make changes quickly. If there’s one learning that stood out in this movement from dine-in to digital, it’s the importance of agility.

Check out BIGGS Ready To Cook via www.biggs.ph.

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Bohol boutique hotel captivates guests with hospitality, top-notch digital services

As the industry paves for recovery, Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel is winning the hearts of local and foreign travelers, accommodating their various travel and lodging needs. This hotel lives up to its core of delivering genuine experiences to its guests, offering top-notch amenities, services, food, and travel experiences like no other.

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The province of Bohol is prominent as a haven of natural beauty, mouth-watering dishes, breathtaking tourist attractions, and locals known for hospitality and warmth to tourists. Recognized as the Jewel of the Philippines, cradling some of the country’s most precious wonders, this province boasts a thriving tourism industry which was then heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the industry paves for recovery, Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel is winning the hearts of local and foreign travelers, accommodating their various travel and lodging needs. This hotel lives up to its core of delivering genuine experiences to its guests, offering top-notch amenities, services, food, and travel experiences like no other.

“We are not treating our guests as guest lang talaga. But we treat them as our family,” said Geann Competente, Assistant General Manager at Ocean Suites Bohol.

“We want our guests to enjoy and relax, so that while they’re staying here in Ocean Suites, they would feel the warm welcome here. Lahat ng mga staff dito, they are all friendly. So, I’m sure you will be satisfied when you’re staying here in Ocean Suites,” Geann added.

All about location

Located on a cliffside property in Bool District, Tagbilaran, Ocean Suites features a panoramic view of the sea which allows tourists to laze around while admiring the majestic scenery. It has cozy, spacious rooms, a delightful café and restaurant, and a stunning infinity pool that makes a perfect relaxing spot. 

It is also strategically located nearby some famous tourist destinations in Tagbilaran, including the historical Blood Compact Shrine where Spanish navigator Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and Rajah Sikatuna sealed the first treaty of friendship in 1565.

“Ocean Suites has a very nice location kaya patuloy kaming binabalikan ng mga turista. Nasa sentro rin kami ng Tagbilaran kaya ideal kami sa mga turista dahil malapit kami sa tourist spots. Our guests can also enjoy the breathtaking scenery from the infinity pool because our location is very interesting and amazing,” Competente shared.

Despite its difficulties during the onset of the pandemic and the aftermath of typhoon Odette last year, the business remains relentless in its resolve to maintain the brand of service quality it is known for.

From the amenities, food, activities, and hospitality of the staff, Ocean Suites offers superior services which are suited to cater to the varying needs of travelers. Whether for leisure travelers who would like a chill, relaxing stay; business travelers who need to attend meetings and functions or for guests craving for an adventure, the hotel provides fantastic avenues to satiate all kinds of wanderlust.

Digital life

As part of the warm hospitality it offers, Ocean Suites also strives to enrich the hotel experience of guests as it tapped an internet service provider that can best support the always-on, digital lifestyle of today’s travelers. 

Providing complimentary high-speed internet for guests, Ocean Suites partnered with Converge ICT Solutions to enable a robust digital foundation that could serve the connectivity requirements of its guests, as well as the operations of the business.

“We started to partner with Converge because we know that they have the speed and reliability that is mostly needed by our guests. Mabilis ‘yung internet connection nila,” Competente noted. 

She also shared the importance of internet connectivity as it is the first thing guests would ask for the moment they stepped inside their rooms. As people nowadays become more digitally active, she said that a reliable and high-speed connection is essential to seamlessly visit sites, watch videos, share experiences, browse social media accounts, and connect to families and friends even if they are on the different side of the globe. 

Natulungan ng Converge yung mga guest namin whether they need to go online for their business or meetings; they provide a fast and reliable connection. Our guests are now more confident to stay with us because of our wifi connection,” Competente noted. 

As the tourism industry gears for recovery amid loosening restrictions, Ocean Suites is optimistic that more tourists will visit the hotel soon. And as their operation continues, Converge will be its partner in enabling fast and reliable internet connection to help guests reach their friends and families wherever they are in the world. 

Visit the Ocean Suites Bohol Boutique Hotel to see the amenities of the hotel and the value for money deals it has to offer. . 

To know more about Converge, visit convergeict.com.

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Maxi Clean Laundromat underscores importance of product trust in starting business

“You have to believe your employees, your partners, and of course, the products or services you’re providing. It’s crucial that you can stand behind the product wholeheartedly because if trust erodes, it will be almost impossible to repair.”

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With any business, the foundation of trust is important. You have to believe your employees, your partners, and of course, the products or services you’re providing. It’s crucial that you can stand behind the product wholeheartedly because if trust erodes, it will be almost impossible to repair.

This foundation of trust is how sisters Claire and Minette started the successful Maxi Clean Laundromat chain in the province of Bulacan. Before everything else, they looked for a business partner that they already know and can rely on. Minette gives her own experience with LG washing machines as an example. “We chose LG because we have an LG washing machine at home that we’ve been using for ten years already. When we started the business, we went for machines that we know are reliable.”

Manny Villagracia, Minette’s husband, handles the technical side of things of the business and is all smiles with how he can manage the machines remotely. “I can diagnose, troubleshoot, and monitor the day to day operations and even assist our laundry care experts to troubleshoot the machine anytime anywhere.” And it’s not just Manny who is happy with the LG Commercial Machines’ wi-fi capabilities. With the Laundry Lounge app, customers can reserve the machines, monitor their laundry, and even do contactless payment with the touch of a button. This gives customers the freedom to choose which machines they want with the specific time span they need. Manny shares how important this feature is. “LG empowers your customer base as if it’s their own machine. (It gives them) power at their fingertips”.

When asked about their experience about starting a laundry business, their common answer boils down to trust. You have to find a brand to be your partner for the long run. Minette underscores this point, saying “Choose a brand you can trust because they will deliver in their promise of helping your business.”

When asked about their experience about starting a laundry business, their common answer boils down to trust. You have to find a brand to be your partner for the long run. Minette underscores this point, saying “Choose a brand you can trust because they will deliver in their promise of helping your business.”

Find out more why business owners and entrepreneurs put their trust in LG Commercial Laundry by visiting www.lg.com/ph. Want to open your own business? Send a message to LG Commercial Laundry PH on Facebook to get started.

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5 Ways WeClean is changing the laundry industry

Fully integrated laundry service provider WeClean has doubled down on its business expansion strategy over the past two years. The company is on track in its plans to become one of the top-of-mind laundromat brands in the country.

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Laundromats in the Philippines have continued to thrive over the years as Filipinos have been given the option to make laundry less of a burden with the continuous innovations in the industry. More Filipinos are outsourcing their chores to buy themselves more time for the things that matter: time for friends, family, hobbies, side hustles, and selfcare. Since the huge growth they have experienced in the last year, WeClean has managed to process more than 1,200 daily orders across all of their branches.

Fully integrated laundry service provider WeClean has doubled down on its business expansion strategy over the past two years. The company is on track in its plans to become one of the top-of-mind laundromat brands in the country.

WeClean Head of Strategy Alejandro Gonzalez Sacramento, from his bird’s eye view, shares five ways the company is helping change and drive the local laundry industry.

  • Quality Laundry Services through Top of the Line Equipment

WeClean is not your ordinary laundry shop. All their shops are decked with top notch washing machines, detergents, and fabric softeners that are able to produce the freshest, cleanest, most fragrant laundry for its customers consistently, and efficiently. WeClean also offers dry cleaning services that have been considered a top choice for many of their customers. They are likewise able to provide quick pickup and delivery services customers continue to recognize.

This has motivated WeClean to beef up operations and install digital point-of-sale machines to better manage inventory and supplies, including an upcoming and soon-to-be launched mobile app that can help more customers with their laundry needs.

  • Standardization of Laundry Services

With over 63 branches across the metro, WeClean standardizes its offering of free pick-up and delivery services for their customers’ laundry needs. Have clothes, linen, towels, or household items (rags, tablecloth, runners, flags/banners, and placemats) picked up, washed, and delivered right to your doorstep within 24 to 48 hours. They also offer pickup and delivery within the same day for regular clothes and household items.

WeClean’s brand is a guarantee that no matter which branch customers reach out to, they will be taken care of by properly trained employees and high quality equipment.

Busy professionals with erratic schedules and heavy workloads, students with piling deadlines, and housewives and entrepreneurs too busy to deal with laundry can save time and stay safe within the comforts of their homes with WeClean.  From washing, drying, folding to steam and dry cleaning, WeClean is ready to take on whatever their customers need.

  • Two-Fold Expansion Strategy

For the company to reach its target goal of opening and operating 500 successful branches by 2025, they are implementing a two-fold expansion strategy. First is in identifying strategically located existing brick and mortar businesses whose owners are looking for a change.

WeClean then evaluates, closes the deal, and purchases small players and turns them into WeClean branches that are operated under the company. The other approach the executives implement is looking for strategic lots, spaces, and locations where they know that there is a demand for their laundromat services. They spot residential areas with high traffic and within distance from high-rise condominiums where people cannot afford to have washing machines at home.

These two expansion strategies have helped them be on track at opening one store after another since its launch in 2017. 

  • Job Security

With its aggressive expansion and business plan intact, WeClean executives have made it their priority to provide stable jobs in all their branches across the metro.

They have already started implementing standardization of their internal processes including payrolls, cash collection reporting, task distribution, among others. To date, WeClean supports 135 employees across 63 of their branches in the country.

  • Client-centric Feedback

WeClean prides itself not just on its capabilities to run seamless laundry services across its branches in the country but also in the company’s ability to listen to customers’ feedback.

“We make it a priority to listen to what our customers need, what is important for them, and what they would like to see at WeClean so we can make their overall experience a memorable one,” shares Sacramento.

WeClean’s exponential growth is a reflection of its consistent and trustworthy services that become a dependable life partner for all its customers. As WeClean continuously grows, they are also making sure that the people they help receive quality service with their keen attention to detail and commitment to improving their operations.

To learn more about WeClean Philippines, visit weclean.ph.com or their Facebook  page for updates and announcements.

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