In a secluded little house in Manila, Philippines, far from the glitz and glamour of the American lifestyle, lies a small local business beloved by many- Noel’s Barbecue. Throughout my travels, I have been exposed to the different societies and cultures that enrich the countries that shape this world; and no other business has resonated with me the way Noel’s Barbecue has.
Often referred to as Noel’s, their menu is uncomplicated and small, with only a couple of selections to choose from. Focusing more on offering staple local favorites, the place exudes of familiarity that resonates with the Filipino culture. Even for first timers, all can attest to the overall homelike aura of the business that just radiates simplicity.
Three key factors pose as a risk to the business, threatening its resilience. The ordeals that the business is subjected to puts a strain on its operations, which greatly affects how the business functions. First, Noel’s Barbecue is located inside a small home and not in an actual commercial space, so the business relies heavily on word-of-mouth- marketing, which is contingent on customer satisfaction. They do not spend on flyers or television and radio advertisements, decreasing the likelihood of expansion since people outside of the city -especially those who have not heard of the business- are unaware that the establishment exists.
Second, because their target market is limited to the individuals who are residing within a certain mile radius, their primary demographic leans towards practical savers like college students, employees from nearby workplaces, and impoverished families within the area. This would explain the low-cost prices that fail to increase throughout the years, to assure that their customers would continue to afford everything on the menu.
Third, operations are limited to the funding capacity of the business. Currently, there are two servers tending to the clientele, and one cook manning the sole grill that they own. The small staff is often pressured into urgency when attending to a plethora of customers. The insufficient manpower generates a long queue that proves to be a problem especially during peak hours. The labor-intensive work needed is sometimes unfulfilled, leading to overcompensation through prolonged work hours in order to recompense their customers. With only one location in the entire country, expectations are pinned greatly upon the only branch that they have standing. With not much financing options available to the business -due to the lack of flexibility available when it comes to dispensable expenses-, they are unable to fully compete in the barbecue industry.
Despite the small size of the business, it continues to flourish amidst the long list competitors that have a stronger influence and impact on the industry compared to Noel’s. The business has proven its worth by attaining their prominence in the barbecue scene for over ten years now. Noel’s Barbecue prides itself of its uniquely delectable sauce that they slather onto various grilled food. That, and the unparalleled dedication of the owners and employees in providing quality service, create consumer loyalty.
I find many American businesses fortunate because they have access to companies like Cover wallet, who go above and beyond in creating opportunities for small businesses to manage commercial insurance. These types of advancements are not available to many local businesses in other countries, and yet they still find a way to prosper despite the hardships and obstacles that they are faced with. That in itself is commendable and meritorious.
There is vast room for improvement, but with the limited resources that Noel’s is subject to, acquiring investors and utilizing the window of opportunity -that their consumers have presented the business with-, would amplify their growing enterprise into something much greater. Noel’s started as a street food cart that has since expanded into a small, local empire; and in time, should Noel’s decide to maximize on the opportunities available at their disposal, then they could create more branches and further amplify their business. Until then, those who crave for savory bites will continue to find solace in little hidden gems like Noel’s Barbecue.