THERE have been a lot of restaurants that have been popping up in Davao City today. Among the popular eating places in the city are the steakhouses.
Indeed it is a challenge for a new brand to compete with those which are already known and tried by the Dabawenyos but this 30-year-old restaurateur, Jose Diokno Tabbad, still bravely ventured the industry with a promise to offer high-quality food and service.
The name of the restaurant is Calves Steakside located in Batulao Road, Central Park Subdivision, Bangkal. Tabbad strategically chose the place as it is an area that is not too saturated with restaurants or concept stores yet. A choice that is both good and scary because he entered an unfamiliar territory with no idea how the consumers behave in this area or how they will perceive or value proposition which is about dining on Premium Steaks at reasonable prices.
The business opened last April 8 with a team composed of eight well-trained people. But he said he trusts these people to carry out the store’s standards to the highest level.
Calves Steakside offers variety of high-quality steaks such as Flat iron steak, pork steak, Kitayama prime rib, Baby back ribs, Kitayama Wagyu, St. Louise style ribs, to name a few. The restaurant also serves other dishes like sausage platter, burgers, and others.
Since it opened few weeks ago, the restaurant is slowly making a name in the social media and to more people through words of mouth.
Tabbad is a graduate of BS Nursing and said he never had a background on the food business that he is currently in. Few years ago, he became a part owner of the famed K Steak Unlimited and Cucina Ilocana in Ilocos as he is originally from Ilocos Norte.
“I’ve been a restaurateur for eight years now – handling a couple of brands that are partly my own and I’ve got a couple more brands under my hands that I completely have no shares to. These are startups that are looking for guidance in marketing their product and getting their brand out to the market,” Tabbad said.
“Our pricing, service, and marketing strategies allowed our brand to be known as a full pledged steakhouse that catered to a wider variety of people and opened the opportunity for consumers to feast on steaks even on regular days,” he added.
At present, Tabbad busies himself with the new project, developing new strategies to widen their market and hopefully to be known and loved by the Dabawenyos as time goes by.
“This may sound ambitious but, steakhouses considered, we have high hopes of being the steak authority in Davao City. We’d like to see the day when locals or tourists think of Davao, they won’t just associate the city with Grilled Eats, Tuna, Durian, or other fruits,” Tabbad said.
“We’d like them also to think of steaks too as a part of the Davao City experience. An expansion may be the answer to this and, who knows, maybe other cities are looking for something similar. Until that day comes, we’ll be here continually developing systems to maintain consistency among our kitchens and systems that can easily bring out the best service out of our people,” he said.
Tabbad shared that starting is a difficult stage and his eight-year experience has never been an easy ride. He experienced empty seats and seemingly quiet peak hours but he and his team are still eager to walk the journey to success.
“Going full swing and putting up your dream restaurant may be easy for some, but for a handful of others, it may be a journey as difficult as ours. Based on what we went through, I could say the journey will eventually be worth it. Just don’t let the amount of pressure take your mind away from being creative and flexible to meet the challenges that today poses. Stay hopeful and stay in love with what you do,” he said.