Vito’s BBQ is a specialty restaurant founded by Mike and Karlene Pelayo. Their ultimate goal is to serve the most delicious chicken barbeque in the metro. What makes this brand all the more special is that their recipe is one passed down through the generations, packed with memories and family pride. “The winning recipe of our chicken BBQ is an age-old family recipe of the Pelayos from Pampanga and we further developed this recipe to suit the elevated taste of Filipinos and to capture customers across the market,” Karlene tells me, proudly.
They have differentiated their BBQ joint from others in the market through creative design, and a slant towards the arts. “We strive to evolve our business into ways where it can always relate to the current market. Mike and I have always appreciated the local art scene and we wanted to translate that into our brand. This is why Vito’s BBQ decided to work with local Filipino artists to develop its packaging and branding to make it stand out among the many other local and online sellers popping up in the e-commerce scene,” Karlene explains.
For this new kid on the block (which began as a humble home business) they chose to open their first restaurant in Ronac Art Center. “It was the perfect location for our first branch as it represented the local art scene with Secret Fresh Gallery and many other locally grown brands. Bigboy Cheng is well-known for supporting Filipino artists and entrepreneurs and has truly given us a big opportunity to offer our BBQ to a wider market,” she shares.
Read on to hear Karlene Pelayo’s insightful perspective:
What made you want to open an F&B concept during a pandemic?
Passion Matters: My husband and I have always enjoyed good food whether it was simple delicious home cooking or dishes from Michelin rated restaurants. But Mike is the real star cook though. He truly enjoys whipping up dishes for our family and friends and this Pandemic opened up an opportunity for him to finally work on one of his interests.
What important lessons did you learn as restaurant owners?
Consistency Is Key: Creating a delicious product is just the first step to opening a food business. We learned that consistency, persistence and knowing your market are important factors in operating Vito’s BBQ. While there are several other factors in the success of any business, we believe that these are the most important.
How did you adapt to offering takeaway offerings? How did you overcome these new challenges?
Details And Organisation: As a business that began at home, Vito’s BBQ primarily sells through Instagram, Facebook, third party applications and our website. [So we were used to the delivery model.] Serving food via delivery means clients consume their food at a much later time as compared to dine-in. We currently have a grilling schedule that is updated daily so that we can always serve our BBQ fresh for our customers. Our website also offers clients to choose their dates up to 7 days in advance, with the option to include delivery to pick up in our store.
Our customers also often request customised packaging and even personalised notes for their orders. We do our best to accommodate these special requests to make our service more personal.
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