Mexican-Latin restaurant Gringo has opened its 10th branch in San Juan City since first launching the brand in 2016. While this seem like just another restaurant, this is their biggest branch to date and the second branch that has private dining options for various occasions. “Actually it’s just a coincidence that this is our biggest branch. We saw an opportunity to open and our target market is also here,” says owner Reagan Tan.

President and CEO of Ortigas & Co. Jaime Ysmael and Reagan Tan at the Gringo San Juan opening
President and CEO of Ortigas & Co. Jaime Ysmael and Reagan Tan

When a restaurant is part of a larger chain spread out in different locations, it’s important to deliver the same quality of food, service, and facilities across all outlets to keep the brand’s image. In the case of Gringo, it boils down to the quality of staff you hire and the kind of relationship restaurateurs establish with their personnel. “I’m the type who handles the staff personally so I can establish a good relationship with them. ‘Yun ang challenge ko talaga, to find time to meet with everyone in all the branches,” says Tan.

The management is also keen on training their staff. “Hindi namin sila sinusukuan hanggang ma-perfect nila ‘yung cooking and service. As a restaurateur, your biggest asset is your people.” As it turns out, preparations for the opening went smoother and faster, thanks to a strong core team. Tan also encouraged aspiring restaurateurs to be prepared for all kinds of challenges and take every experience as a lesson. “Be happy with what you’re doing. Kailangan motivated ka at gusto mo ‘yung ginagawa mo.”