DESPITE the stiff competition in the food business, Filipino restaurant Chika-an sa

Cebu continues to expand, opening in Ayala Center Cebu its 10th branch.

Chika-an president John Dytian said in an interview yesterday that the Ayala branch, which had its soft opening on Dec. 29, introduced to consumers a new take on its interiors, which he said will make them compete better with other food businesses that

are also continuously growing.

The new branch sits in a 133- square meter floor area at the level three of the Terraces. It has a 110-person sitting capacity.

“The market is growing...Foreign brands are coming in, it’s a challenge to be up to date,” John said.


The new interiors of Chika-an was designed by architect Maya Franco. It displays circular patterns around the restaurant done in shell inlay, which Franco said “represents the bounty from the land and the sea” and is “ meant to capture the freshness and flavor of Cebuano cuisine and the warmth of our hospitality.”

Chika-an sa Cebu’s new interiors and furniture also aim to capture the liveliness of the Cebuano dining experience while keeping it a place cozy enough for family gatherings and even corporate meetings, the architect said.

The new interiors will then be adopted in future Chika-an establishments where local craftmanship is also incorporated.

To keep up with the competition, John said Chika-an is also regularly introducing new menu and improving the old ones.

As a Filipino restaurant, it serves crispy pata, sizzling squid ala pobre, baked scallops, buttered garlic shrimp, buwad with kamatis, mongo soup and banana and langka toron among others.

Chika-an sa Cebu was purchased by the Dytians in 2005 from founder Jessica Avila. The business is led by John and executive chef Derek Dytian.

Chika-an now has a total of 10 branches, six of which are in Cebu and are company-owned. The other four are franchised, located in Davao, General Santos, and Bacolod.

Other areas

John said there are three waiting franchisees in Dumaguete, Cagayan de Oro and Butuan.

Franchise fee is pegged at P500,000 but the cost of opening a store would reach P6 million to P7.5 million.

Asked if it will open a branch somewhere in Luzon, John said they have no plans yet because of some factors they have to consider “logistics.”

“We’re opening at our own pace. We have to set up the infrastructure. We have to maintain its sustainability,” he added.

Chika-an sa Cebu is the Filipino restaurant arm of the Creative Cuisine Gourmet Group, which also runs Kaffee Alde, catering service Creative Cuisine and Chinese restaurant Big Mao. The company introduced in December last year the first food truck in Cebu, Big Daddy.