NOW that she has several branches of Nonki Japanese Restaurant in Cebu, Davao and Iloilo, Cebu-based entrepreneur Ligaya Machida is going back to her roots.
Machida, who owns eight branches of Nonki (which means carefree), is planning to open a branch in her home province of Bohol. This is to bring job opportunities to Boholanos and make quality Japanese food accessible to the province that is now enjoying a healthy boom in local and foreign tourist arrivals.
“The Nonki branch in Bohol will be in Panglao. We have already secured a property there,” said Machida, who single-handedly manages the restaurant chain after her husband died some years ago.
“I am blessed because I still have the pioneer team with me until now. I have entrusted the management of other branches to the employees who have been with me from the start,” she said.
Machida said she now handles some 300 employees, a number she hopes to grow as they target to open 12 branches.
She said it is their long-time dream to celebrate one branch anniversary per month, hence, the 12 branches.
Nonki Panglao will be the ninth branch. Machida is optimistic it can attract a strong following similar to the other branches because of the quality of food and service and good price points.
“Nonki became a hit through word of mouth. It has become the go-to dining place of Japanese who come to Cebu, either for leisure and business. Because of the good reception, we branched out to Davao and Iloilo,” said Machida.
Six branches of Nonki are in Cebu while the rest are in Davao and recently, in Iloilo. Her only son Junichi designed and conceptualized its new logo.
Panglao, according to Machida, presents a growth opportunity for the restaurant. She said setting up the business wouldn’t be difficult as she is familiar with how the Boholanos work.
“We intend to join the other restaurants in the area in providing guests with an exciting culinary experience while they are in Bohol,” she said.
Panglao Island is now home to big resort players and restaurants. With the opening of the New Bohol International Airport in Panglao in August this year, investments and arrivals to the island are expected to pick up. (KOC)