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An impressive story of launching USA-taste burger shop in the Philippines


Isobe_Yasuaki

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Could you introduce your business?

THE HOTGUY BURGER SHOP is a franchise burger shop. There are 11 stores and 2 of them are owned by us.

We started as a home-based burger seller and used to bring burgers from home to the office. In 2016, we saw the demand for our burgers increase. So we decided to sell more, using Facebook as a marketing tool. After a year, we established our first burger shop, in 2017, providing only take-out. And we started the dine-in service in 2018.

Around that time, we started getting franchise requests. And we decided to do franchising with 3-4 shops.

When the Covid came, fortunately, we were in the food industry which is essential. So we continued to grow even during the pandemic. 

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How did you start the burger shop?

My husband used to work in a US base in Afghanistan for 2 years. And when he came back to the Philippines, he wanted to eat western burgers, sandwiches, and steak. But those foods are not here. So he wanted to create by himself. But when he created his own burger, our children didn't eat them. So I brought them to my office. Then my colleagues liked it, so the demand grew from 10 to 80 per day. That time we realized that our product was promising. 

At that time, I was employed by a BPO (call center) company. But I could see that my burger's profit was bigger than my salary. That's why I decided to quit BPO and became a full-time entrepreneur.

In my office area, burgers were expensive, and restaurants tended to have only 1 variant of the burger. But we created a burger-only menu with many variants. Currently, we have 21 variants of burgers. This is what makes us unique in the region. 

Does your husband also cook burgers?

When he retired from the US military base in Afghanistan, he was not working because he was sick. Actually, this business came out of desperation. All of our savings were spent to pay for his medicine. Only I was working but he couldn't get a job. To comfort him, we started making a burger. 

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Why did you decide to use Loyverse, and what is your benefit?

Currently, we use Loyverse in the main kitchen and on the new branches. Some of the franchises are also using Loyverse.

Since the sales are increasing and we are growing franchises, we need to track our sales. It was difficult to track our sales by excel because it requires a lot of time. I was using Square POS before, but I came across Loyverse when I was looking for a printer supported by Square POS. If we want to use Square POS in the Philippines, we need to buy a printer from the USA. But it costs around 20,000 pesos (approximately 1,000 USD) plus a shipping fee. But with Loyverse, I'm using a non-brand printer that can be bought only for 800-900 pesos (Around 40 USD) in Shopee.

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Do you have any feedback on Loyverse?

I would suggest that we want to see how many dine-in, take-out, and delivery were made in a day. Currently, in Loyverse, we need to export the data and edit the CSV file by ourselves. We also hope that the Advanced Inventory can be on a mobile app.

But basically, I am very fan of Loyverse and don't want to move to another mobile app.

Finally, could you give some message to other entrepreneurs?

It was not an easy road for us during startup but innovation makes tasks easier and saves time from manual physical work that creates stress and tension. Do not be afraid to try and innovate, be a smart startup and maximize technology to make your business even more successful.

Thank you so much!

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