The food service industry in the Philippines has improved over the m years. It has been a part of the Filipino culture to dine out during work breaks and when celebrating different occasions. The introduction of foods like hamburger, spaghetti, sushi, Thai food and even Korean dishes has contributed to Filipinos’ food preference. Another reason is the industrialization and growth among the number of women in the workforce.
Women traditionally do the cooking in Filipino households, but because they are preoccupied with work outside their homes, many of them buy cooked food, have them delivered or just dine out.
Because of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, ready-to-cook and ready-to-eat meals have become greatly in demand. The food service industry is sought after by a growing number of people who want to have filling meals in the shortest time and at the most reasonable price.
Today, different types of food establishments are being set-up all-over the country. While these are the big and fancy restaurants, fast food restaurants, delivery services, catering services and canteens and the smaller ones found within our neighborhoods such as the carinderia, pondohan and lugawan, it is also common to find food carts along sidewalks that sell fish balls, squid balls and other dimsum.
Some sell barbequed chicken parts locally known as adidas (feet), pal (wings) and helmet (head). Also popular are the fried day-old chicks known as day-O. These are saleable and convenient to people with limited money to spend, and to those whose work requires them to travel or be out often.
Going into the food service business needs a lot of study on important principles of managing it. Food can affect the health of the consumers; therefore it is the responsibility of its owners to maintain the cleanliness of the foods served and the place. This includes quantity cooking, menu planning, food pricing, and sanitation of work area and process, as well as health care of customers. Another important principle in this business is honest service to customers. Therefore, getting into the food business is assuming a great responsibility to the public.
Categories of Food Services
There are different types of food services established to answer the needs of the public. Among these are the restaurants, panciteria, turu-turo and dimsum houses, bakeshops, coffee shops, pizza houses and specialty restaurants.
These are generally categorized in two: the commercial food service and the welfare food service.
A. Commercial Food Service
All eateries that are into business and profit fall under the commercial food service. In this category, the controlling of expenses, setting of the profit and planning the business growth lies within the responsibility of the owner. It is he who sets the price of the food and services based on the type of food and services, value of the place and the economic level of the target customers.
B. Welfare Food Service
The welfare food service is set up to cater to a particular group of people like employees, students and patients. Most are found in schools, office canteens and cafeterias in hospitals managed by a concessionaire. Competition is low because only one canteen or cafeteria serves an entire office building or hospital.
A concessionaire is a person given the right/authority by a building owner or institution to manage its canteen or cafeteria. Main consideration in the agreement between the representative of the institution and the concessionaire is to give their employees and clients clean and inexpensive food.
Usually, a concessionaire is chosen through a bidding process and is given a contract which contains the obligations of the concessionaire and building owner, the length of the contract, food pricing, and benefits given to the concessionaire, the proper cleanliness and maintenance of the area, and the events that will cause the renewal or cancellation of contract.
The concessionaire need not increase his price because regular income is assured with a captive clientele of employees or students from a company or school. Aside from this, food subsidy assistance is given by the management of a company, school or hospital to the concessionaires to reduce the prices of food. This may be in the form of free electric and water usage and free space or equipment for cooking. It will allow the concessionaire to save on costs on equipment and focus on the preparation of food at a lower cost.