Concept Store: Small Business to Start in the Philippines


The so-called “concept” stores and restaurants are gaining popularity around the Metro and other urban cities in the country. It comes with unique products or services that originated or patterned from other country or far away city and is adopted here. Are these conceptualized Pinoy business ideas will click despite the big franchises around the corner?

The Rise of Conceptualized Businesses

People love to try something new. With the fast-paced lifestyle and the everyday routine, many individuals like experimenting. For example, instead of eating their usual fast-food or dine-in restaurant, they would love to make something of their own or from a recipe book. People are tired with the same things all over again, as simple as that.

On the other hand, this is time consuming and not all people would love to cook everyday. So as a relief from everyday’s stress, they drove down the city and look for a dining place that offers a menu they never tried before. That is where concept restaurants took over.

How Are They Marketed?

How do these stores and restaurants gain popularity? Big franchises have TV, radio, or paper ads. Well, it is difficult at the beginning because only a few know about the said concept store or restaurant in your area. But, if a lot of your customers are fully satisfied and loved the service, they would surely refer the food or product to their friends. And that is the power of buzz marketing or the so-called “word of mouth” marketing.

Another way is that there are several websites like Trip Advisor, Spot.Ph, Click in the City, and the like that can feature the store and its products or services. I remember the one steak house we tried that is only 150 for a huge T-bone steak, I found it on one of these websites.

Online bloggers can also feature the store or restaurant which includes documentation of the food or product they have tried. This for me is a great way for the soon-to-be customers to be excited on what you are about to give them. It gives them the feeling greater than just craving for something to eat.

T.V. programs especially those shown early morning offers a chance for these concept stores and restaurants to be featured live on-air. They will have their own booth there where viewers will get a chance to look at your products. And also the members of the show itself can have a taste of their creation. Who knows, someone might be willing to invest in their craft in order to reach more audience.

Setting-Up Your Own Concept Store

Interested in putting-up your unique kind of store or perhaps a bar? I suggest you to visit some concept stores near you and observe their menu, their place, and the people. Can you find something that struck you that you would want your best friends to experience too? If yes, then that is the unique selling point of that concept store. You can also get some food business ideas that you can incorporate with the one you are planning.

The Maguinhawa Street

I have been to Maguinhawa Street, along U.P. Teacher’s Village in Quezon City, a lot of times. And totally I enjoyed walking across the lengthy avenue and looking for some new restaurants to try out depending on my mood. If you will visit this one time, you will definitely enjoy and be back the next day to try another one.

maguinhawa food streat
StrEat: Maguinhawa Food Park (photo credit to their Facebook Page)

We tried a concept resto along Maguinhawa St. that offers ramen noodles where-in you choose what kind of noodles, the meat, the flavor of the soup, plus the level of spiciness. They gave as a menu printed on a piece of white paper and a pen. To my surprise, that’s how they will take our order. We will check or encircle what we like on our ramen soup and submit it to the servers.

It was a rainy night so having hot and spicy noodles is a must. The place was full and they cannot accommodate guests anymore so other hungry and craving people waited for their turn. While enjoying our turn, a couple asked if they may sit and eat with us. Of course we obliged. Only to know, that they own 3 concept stores along Maguinhawa and these stores are really famous and great.

gerrys jeepney
Gerry’s Jeepney at Maguinhawa Street (photo credit from Gerry’s Jeepney Facebook Page)

when uan met sally

When Uan Met Sally Cafe (photo credit from their Facebook Page)

Artsy Cafe (photo credit from their Facebook Page)

Protection From The Local Government

According to them, the local government in Quezon City prevented franchises like Jollibee or Mc Donald’s from occupying a space along the street because they wanted the street to be full of concept stores and restaurants and also preserve its identity. That is really helpful since not all owners of these stores have the capacity the bounce back when worse comes to worse. Remember they are all start-ups looking for the approval of the masses.

With the assistance from our local government, this will encourage a lot of people who have their own creative ideas putting into something that will not only make them successful, but also will serve a lot of happy and satisfied customers.

Few Things to Consider

I believe that each and every one of us has their own unique ideas and creative imagination that would want to be materialized. However, only a few has the courage to do it. If you have that light bulb switching on, always remember that you will never know if your Pinoy business ideas will be successful or not unless you try and take the first step.

For those that already started or putting-up their personalized stores, restaurants or any small business in the Philippines, always put in mind that first impression lasts. Any extra service for the customer like asking them about their food, opening doors for them, or assisting them on their chairs, is a plus. If you see your business doing for a long-term, then serve your customers as if you will be serving them as long as they live.