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THE BIG IDEA OF BIG FLAT BREAD
Before Big Flat Bread came into the Cagayan de Oro food scene, the choices for pizza restaurants were limited to the international chains. "The city did not have restaurants offering authentic, home-made pizzas," says Jim Anthony Uy, Co-owner of Big Flat Bread. Uy and his partners hail from Cebu, but they chose Cagayan de Oro as the location of their first store as the Cebu market is highly-competitive for a start-up. True enough, their intuition paid off—when Big Flat Bread opened last August 2009 at CDO's Limketkai Mall, they immediately captured the appetite of the region.
"People in Mindanao do not like eating alone. They like to eat in groups," observes Uy. Before they introduced Big Flat Bread to CDO, the pizza sizes were limited. "For a party of ten people, the group had to order two to three boxes so that everyone will have his share of the pizza. There was only one pizza house which was serving pizza at a groupfriendly size," adds Uy.
Seeing this as an open door for opportunities, Big Flat Bread decided to specialize in large servings of this beloved pie. “We decided to create a delicious, home-made, brick-oven pizza that would cater to the barkada and family market,” says Uy. “We serve our pizza at 12, 18, and 30-inch sizes. Then we have recently introduced our 9-inch pizza to serve the individual. These are thin crust pizzas, our ingredients are guaranteed fresh, and we import some [of them] from Italy,” he adds. Bestsellers include the Godfather Pizza with its mini meatballs, bacon, ham, pepperoni, chicken, chipolata, and tons of fresh vegetables, as well as the Southern Chicken Delight, which is a tribute to Louisiana cuisine.
But it is not just the pizzas that customers and their huge families enjoy. They also have a selection of pastas, chicken wings and wraps, potato Spudsters, and desserts. “Our Big Cheese Cake is the best-tasting cheesecake this part of town,” claims Uy.
To strenghten their positioning as a place that fosters good ties among large groups, Big Flat Bread goes the extra mile by creating a cozy dining area where everyone can enjoy the meal experience.
BOUND FOR BIGGER BUSINESSES
Today, this Cagayanon success story is more than just a pizza chain. Earlier this year, Big Flat Bread opened its commissary and upped the standards of their products. Within a few months, they opened The Next Big Thing—their own franchise company that welcomes other businessmen to take part of the brand's growing success. Then they also announced the opening of their branches in key cities such as Dumaguete, Butuan, and Palawan.
What started as a Cagayon affair is now poised to bring its unique offering to the rest of the county. “We have new products lined up to come out, and we will be expanding our brand all throughout the Philippines,” says Uy. It is surely no small deal to play with the big names in the business, but they are up to the challenge.
It also helps that Big Flat Bread has partnered with one of the country's leading food service providers in the country with their plans of expansion. The restaurant has always used San Miguel Pure Foods Great Food Solutions (GFS) in creating their bestelling items. Magnolia Quickmelt Cheese, Meatballs, Pork Sisig, and Magnolia Ice Cream, are just some of the GFS products that they trust in creating their menu. The products in GFS' portofolio are already beloved by Filipinos, found in both household pantries as well as restaurant and industrial kitchens. Though Big Flat Bread is a hit in CDO, GFS can help their expansion by providing ingredients that Filipinos all over the country have grown up with and patronized.
“We chose GFS because we believe in giving only quality products to our customers. We make sure to get our ingredients from quality suppliers, and GFS is one of the brands that serve quality products,” says Uy. It is not only in supplying ingredients, but also in reinforcing the business and servicing side of the restaurant. “GFS sponsors seminars for our managers for pointers in ensureing the provision of quality services to our custmers,” adds Uy. This will be a valuable asset as we watch this 100% Mindanaoborn restaurant bring on big flavors and big service to the rest of the archipelago.