He has been in the food business for seven years now. He started with Healthy Meals PH where he would offer to deliver three healthy meals a day every day for a contracted period of time.
Seeing an opportunity to increase his market presence, Rad Pelayo converted his Health Meals PH concept into a buffet style restaurant in Quezon City. When that did not work out, Pelayo tried another concept, a restaurant that served food he grew up with. He even named the restaurant after his mother.
But then the pandemic happened, and everyone was forced to close shop. When quarantine restrictions eased a little, Rad offered his restaurant as a drop off point for vegetable suppliers. There they could sell their wares to customers who lived in the area. Despite these hard times, he also managed to send out meals to frontliners on a regular basis.
THREE years after the pandemic, Rad felt that it was the right time to launch a concept that he has been working on for a while. Last February, he launched Pelayo’s. It’s a takeout stall concept that also caters to deliveries. The star of Pelayo’s is the crispy pata.
Whenever you crave for crispy pata, you can order it from Pelay’s on its own. If you are celebrating a special occasion or have friends coming over, you can order what Rad terms a Patabox. There’s Patabox Sosyal where for the price P999 you get a crispy pata, pancit, six orders of Dilis Rice, 4 Sawsawan ng Bayan and free 1.5-liter soft drink. Then there is PataBox Bongga where for P1,499 you get crispy pata jumbo, pancit, sisig, eight lumpiang shanghai, lechon hamonado, six dilis rice and 1.5-liter soft drinks.
Since it was launched in February, Rad has already opened eight branches, five of them are in Metro Manila (Mandaluyong, Banawe, Caloocan, Munoz and UP, while the other three are in Central Luzon (Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga).
“People have been telling me that I have been moving too fast with this business, but they do not realize that I have been in the food business for the past seven years. What I am doing now is based on experience and making use of what I have learned,” he related in an interview.
“This is also my way of making up for lost time, time that I should have spent with my parents. Pelayo’s has motivated me to do my best and I want this business to succeed for them,” he said.
One thing Rad has learned is that it is really difficult to run and maintain a restaurant. You have to worry not only about the food that needs to be prepared and served but your staff as well.
“In a restaurant, you are very dependent on your cook. For Pelayo’s, you only need a small space and someone who knows how to fry because you need to just fry the crispy pata, the sisig and the lumpiang shanghai,” he said.
He added that compared to a running a restaurant, a Pelayo’s outlet is cheaper to run because you only need one person to run it and it only occupies a small space.
Rad also decided to include Pelayo’s in his Healthy Meals PH online business. He related that he has an inhouse call center which relays orders to the nearest Pelayo’s branch. If the call center receives an order from Pasig, it will be directed to the Mandaluyong outlet because that is the closest,
“With Christmas fast approaching, Pelayo’s is another option for you to consider for your office party or family gatherings. We will soon be launching our Patatim Box where we will be offering desserts. You only have to heat the Patatim and then fry the dessert and they will be ready for delivery or pick up,” Rad said.
On August 18, 2023, Rad opened the Banawe branch which will also serve as Pelayo’s office and training facility. It also has an area that can host events for up to 30 people.
“This is our way of telling our possible franchisees that we are serious about this business and want our master franchisees to be confident about doing business with us,” he added.
NOTING that problems may arise in the course of managing a franchise, Rad said the Banawa branch will also offer seminars that will cover hiring to firing, licensing, Marketing 101 and what is your why in doing the business.
In addition to Pelayo’s take out counters, Pelayo’s also offers food carts and food trays. Also in the works is a restaurant which will be opening in Valenzuela near a school and hospital.
“Failure is not an option for me. I have to pick up the pieces and rebuild and come up with a business that will click and has potential. I have found that in Pelayo’s,” he said.
For more information about Pelayo’s visit their Pelayo’s Sisig & Crispy Pata Facebook Page.