Friday, June 18, 2021

Outdoor dining on mountains seen as bright spot in pandemic

MICRO, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are thriving in outdoor locations as consumers turn to the countryside to unwind and relax.

Rey Calooy, Filipino Cebuano Business Club chairman, said although MSMEs are still on survival mode, others have already changed their business models to reach out to their consumers.

“For example, most of our MSMEs that are in shopping malls like food carts, went out and put up stalls in the mountains and parks where families flock during weekends and where they can practice social distancing,” he said.

Calooy cited Tambayans and outdoor dining experiences in Il Corso and Talisay as some examples of these business models.

“When we pivot, we start anew. It’s a complete restart, but we already know where people go, so it’s very promising,” he said, despite the fact that the sector is still financially challenged after more than a year of the Covid-19 surge in the country.

Calooy described the sales of those MSMEs that situated themselves in mountains and parks that bikers and riders frequent as “very positive.”

“We noted that MSMEs are really thriving in the outdoors these days. What they lost during the dwindling foot traffic in malls, they earned back in (doing business in) outdoor areas,” he said.

The mindset of consumers these days, according to Calooy, is that it is safer to go out in areas where there is open air and ample space.

“Being outdoors, like in the mountains, also helps with their mental health, so MSMEs are really at an advantage,” she said.

Outdoor dining isn’t new in Cebu’s dining scene, but opening businesses where owners could offer al fresco dining plus a good ambiance have become a hit lately amid the pandemic-challenged business environment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reminds business owners to follow safety protocols such as wearing a face mask and observing social distancing whether in indoor or outdoor dining areas at all times except when eating and drinking. (JOB)


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