RATHER than offer up his brand for franchising, Enrico V. Dionson, the man behind Rico’s Lechon, said expansions of the business will stay in the hands of his family, halting discussions on future partnerships.

The family inaugurated yesterday its second restaurant at the Mactan Promenade in Lapu-Lapu City, a short drive from the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

It was supposed to be the third Rico’s Lechon branch, but its partnership with Pages Holdings a few blocks away from Ayala Center Cebu ended in November last year. The restaurant has been renamed the House of Lechon.

Their first restaurant is in Panagdait in Cebu City.

Wala na namo gipadayon among pares-pares (We did not continue our partnership),” Dionson said, without disclosing why it ended. The previous partnership with Pages Holdings, he said, involved a 50-50 setup.

For its newly-opened, 90-seater restaurant in Lapu-Lapu City, Dionson said the family spent around P5 million.

Rico’s Lechon also underwent rebranding, having launched its new logo yesterday and adopting the tagline “Cebu’s Best” and slogan “Da Best Gyud!”

Rico’s Lechon prides itself as the pioneer in spicy lechon. It has been in the lechon business since 1997, a sideline to his job as “kristo”, a taker of bets in a cockfight arena.

Malipay nako makahalin sauna og tulo ka lechon sa usa ka semana (I was happy if I sold three in a week),” Dionson said. Today, Rico’s Lechon sells anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 pieces of lechon per month.

His first few experiments in lechon-making were met with criticisms from his customers, some complaining it was too salty. After several attempts, Dionson mastered the skill of lechon-making.

This year, the family is planning to open two more stores, one in Lahug and another along Osmeña Blvd.