100-seat lechon resto opens to serve surge in demand
RECOGNIZING the increasing demand for lechon and event bookings at their Mactan and Mabolo branches, Rico’s Lechon opened its third and largest restaurant in Cebu on Monday, Dec. 12.
Enrico “Rico” Dionson, founder and chief executive officer of the chain of restaurants, said bringing the brand close to the heart of Cebu City would not only accommodate more customers but also reach out to those who may find it hard to access the first two branches.
“(In 2017, we expect) our market to increase. That is why there is a need to open more branches,” he said during the grand opening of their newest branch at Axis Entertainment Avenue in Vibo Place along N. Escario Street, just a few minutes away from the Cebu Provincial Capitol.
The newest addition to the chain is a two-storey facility that features a 100-seat dining area and another 100-seat function room, but can accommodate more.
Apart from their signature lechon, the restaurant also offers a wide array of Filipino dishes.
The launching also coincided with the strong demand for lechon in December, which Dionson said has doubled compared to orders during previous months.
By the end of November, orders started coming in from companies for corporate events during Christmas, most of which order 50 whole lechons at a time.
Dionson said they made sure their workforce was complete, supply of water and charcoal was ready, and that there will be no shortage of pigs which are sourced from Negros Oriental.
He said their new commissary is now able to accommodate 125 lechons per cycle (1.5 to 3.5 hours), from only 70 with the old one.
Banking on the performance of their branches in past years, Dionson said they are poised to open two more in Cebu City in 2017, one of which will be farther south like in Pardo or Labangon.
Jeff Walther Oyas, head of sales and marketing, said their branches have really been performing well.
When they started in 2012, they used to only dispose of 6 to 9 lechons in a day. At present, they average at about 12 to 15 per branch.
Each lechon, depending on size, is priced at P3,500 to P8,000.
In terms of event bookings, Oyas said their Mactan branch hosts 4 to 5 events every week, which are mostly corporate bookings, but they have also had birthday parties and intimate wedding receptions.
The Axis branch comes 10 months after the brand opened its second branch at the Mactan Promenade in Lapu-Lapu City last February, a 90-seater restaurant just a few meters away from the Mactan Cebu International Airport.
Its first branch in Mabolo was opened in 2012.
Rico’s Lechon at Axis is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. for take-out and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for dine-in. It is also available for private events.
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