For many folks, the best way to satisfy hunger while on the go is the good old fastfood. Motorists, for instance, usually go for this type of food once their tummy calls out to them. Yet with burgers and fries being the staple fare, some may wish for something more filling. This was how Binalot was born.
Back in the day some 20 years ago, a group of young professionals came up with a food delivery concept that was different from the rest. Not only did it offer Filipino fare on the menu—such as Tapa, Tocino, Sinangag (garlic friend rice) and Itlog or Egg--, but it likewise packaged these in environment-friendly banana leaves. This was truly a departure from the styrofoam and greasy offerings clogging the fastfood industry.
From a food delivery business, Binalot eventually grew into foodcourt kiosks, a restaurant, and branched out to offer franchising. It has even gone international with the opening of Bnalot Dubai in 2015.
Yet the road to success was not easy. Binalot and its owners also experienced their share of trails. The devastating Milenyo supertyphoon that struck the country in 2006 put a huge damper on the resto’s banana leaf supply chain. Yet not one to give up, Binalot owners saw this as an opportunity to make a fresh start.
Through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign efforts, Binalot adopted a community of banana farmers in Laguna. Aptly dubbed DAHON or Dangal at Hanapbuhay Para sa Nayon, this not only gave Binalot a steady banana leaf supply stream but likewise gave the said community a viable source of income.
This has pushed the Binalot team to strive for new heights. It has been utilizing electric bikes to deliver food in a fast and green way. Plus, its food van is a hit at various events. All this has paid off as Binalot President Rommel T. Juan has been nominated as a Finalist to this year’s Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2017.
And this alone, he notes, is enough to show that all that effort and paying it forward were worth it.