Global chicken wonder opens store in Davao-A A +A
Sunday, July 15, 2012
THERE'S no need for Dasbawenyos to go to the nation's capital to taste the crispy chicken sensation that already made a mark in the global food industry, particularly in the United States.
BonChon, the crispy chicken sensation raved about globally, has chosen Davao City as an expansion area outside Metro Manila, where the international chain had already set up 21 outlets in less than two years.
Its store, located at the ground floor of the city's hippest mall, the SM City Davao The Annex, BonChon's 22nd.
Since its formal opening on July 11, a long queue has not been a hindrance to Dabawenyos who were eager to try this chicken sensation.
"Sana tuloy-tuloy na 'to," Val Uyking, who is among the franchise ownners and manages the restaurant operations, told Sun.Star Davao, as he appeared surprised on the market's response to their products.
Earlier on Monday, during BonChon's media launch, Uyking told this writer in an interview they are expecting a return of investment in less than three years.
BonChon's franchise ranges from P9 million to P12 million and the Davao outlet is its first franchised store.
BonChon, meaning "original village" in Korean, serves Korean fried chicken that's super crispy yet light and not greasy, with hot moist juicy meat, and sauced with its addicting soy garlic or spicy glaze.
From its original home in Seoul, South Korea, BonChon opened branches in New York where its crispy chicken secret earned major media and industry accolades, as well as raves from discriminate diners.
BonChon's phenomenal success in New York, then in San Francisco, Boston, Virginia, and New Jersey, set the stage for the restaurant chain's international expansion in Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Singapore, with stores opening soon in Brunei.
The enterprising force behind BonChon Philippines is its young and dynamic managing director, 29-year-old Scott Tan.
Living as a student and later on as a working professional in the US for close to 10 years, he discovered BonChon in one of his frequent visits to New York.
His first experience of the highly addictive crispy chicken everyone was raving about was a revelation, so much so that it became an indispensable part of his New York trips.
When he returned to the Philippines, Tan decided to follow his passion and palate by venturing into the food business.
Aware of Filipinos' love for chicken and identifying a gap in the local market, he was excited to share his uniquely delicious BonChon experience in New York with everyone. Armed with sheer determination and drive to succeed, Scott won over BonChon International and was allowed to bring BonChon to the Philippines.
In November 2010, BonChon Chicken Philippines officially opened to massive lines, inspiring instant gustatory love among Filipinos. The original Korean fried chicken secret proved to be big hit, propelling growth to an impressive 20 stores throughout Metro Manila in a mere 20 months of operations.
"The vision of BonChon Chicken Philippines is to serve as many Filipinosas possible, with BonChon in every key city nationwide," Tan said.
With the opening of its Davao branch, such goal is starting to be realized.
"We are glad to have begun our national expansion with the opening of our first branch outside of the metro. Davao City is thriving and the food industry here is bullish, and we are very proud to be part of the progressive vibrance of this beautiful city. We are looking forward to offer something new to Dabawenyos, the same crispy chicken that has made its mark in the international market," Tan said.
He said BonChonis steadfastly committed to serve fresh, innovative food at reasonable prices, delivering much value to its growing cult of customers without any shortcuts.
The local menu offers a wide range, starring BonChon's world-renowned crispy chicken.
Its seafood offerings began as local seasonal offerings that have become popular items on the local menu: the brand's take on the English classic of fish and chips, crispy squid rice, and the raved-about fish taco which was inspired by the California food truck mishmash of Korean and Mexican.
At BonChon, the traditional Korean bulgogiis served Asian style as beef bulgogi over rice, Western style as beef bulgogi in a wrap, and BonChon style as crunchy chicken bulgogi over rice.
Their crisp, delicious salads are fresh, light options: Ginger Tofu with a beautiful Asian dressing, and a classic Caesar which boasts parmesan cheese and an olive oil-based dressing with real anchovies.
As a sweet ending to a BonChon meal, BonChon's Ko-Yo (or Korean Yogurt) strikes the perfect balance among tart, sweet, cool, and creamy – served in alternating layers with homebaked graham pie crust, and offered in Blueberry Torte and Banoffee Pie variants.
As a testament to the vibrance of the Philippine menu, many locally-developed recipes have found their way to international BonChon stores, with more dishes underway.
Scott personally develops many of the hit dishes that are now a permanent part of the local BonChon menu.
Under his leadership, the Philippines has become a benchmark of success among BonChon franchisees worldwide, renowned for its innovative product and marketing initiatives.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 16, 2012.