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Lola Inda Pancit Palabok flourishing thru online presence

Social media has been the game-changer in almost everything that surrounds us.

With the birth of social platforms, custom targeting of prospective customers is easier than ever.

With different businesses under threat due to the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, social media platforms help businesses survive.

Such is the case with Lola Inda Pancit Palabok.

“At first, nag too ko na wala kaayo maka ila namo. But after nag set up ko ug [Facebook] page online, daghan diay kaau ang naka ila namo ug nangita sa among pagkaon,” said Lola Inda Pancit Palabok manager, Jonathan Pernia.

(At first, I thought  no one knows about us anymore. But after I set up an online page, I realized a lot were actually looking for our food.)

Lola Inda has actually been in the food business since 1987. The restaurant started with a small kiosk along MC Briones Street in Mandaue City and later established another branch along F. Ramos Street in Cebu City. The Ramos branch is the remaining branch of Lola Inda.

How Social Media Shaped their business

Lola Inda is a family-run business managed by 27-year-old Jonathan and his father, Rustico Pernia.

Their restaurants specialize in Kapampangan dishes tailored to the Cebuano’s taste.

Among their famous dish is the pancit palabok, a dish made of thick spaghetti-like noddles akin to pancit Malabon.

“Before nag June 1, nag sugod nako ug develop sa page. And ako nag manage sa karon sa business since canceled paman ang classes sa med school,” said Pernia.

(Before June 1, I started to develop the page. I am the one managing the business since classes in med school is still cancelled.)

According to him, with Cebu City now back to Enhance Community Quarantine status, much of their orders are now made online.

“Around 70-80 percent of our orders are made online since there’s no more dine-in allowed,” said Pernia.

Unlike business owners who struggled to keep their businesses afloat, Pernia is grateful that Lola Inda has made flourishing sales–all thanks to social media.

“Our sales are doing better compared to pre-pandemic days,” he said. “Wala gyud mi nag expect na ingon-ani ang reception na among ma dawat from our online customers,” said Pernia.

(We really didn’t expect that the reception from our online customers would be like this.)

Expanding online presence

Asked how they managed their deliveries, Pernia said they use delivery apps such as Lalamove and Angkas to get customer orders delivered right on time.

Pernia said they are working on partnering with FoodPanda as their way of expanding their presence online while they continue to adapt to the new normal.

Jonathan says work starts early at 4 a.m. everyday, when his father heads to the market to purchase ingredients for their dishes and then picks up their employees before heading to the restaurant.

“Para nako, if you are passionate about your work, dili sha mag matter kun early mo mag start, kai mao ni ang motivate nimo to accomplish your work,” he said.

(For me, if you are passionate about your work, it won’t matter if you start early because this is what will motivate you to accomplish your work.)

So while the country continues to adapt to the new normal, expect Lola Inda Pancit Palabok to continue to adapt to the digital world, as they aim to deliver Kapampangan dishes to every Cebuano’s plate. /bmjo

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