Tips for Opening a Restaurant in the Philippines

English: "The Terraces" wing of Ayal...

English: “The Terraces” wing of Ayala Center Cebu in Cebu City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This Blog Post is for people which are interested to open a Restaurant or Pub in the Philippines.

I myself opened four, one in Cebu City, two in Balamban, Cebu and one Coffeeshop inside an existing Hotel. So I may say, I have a bit of experience in that matter.

At first a warning – if you have never worked a substantial time in this business, stop dreaming and better forget about it. because if you have not done that in your home country, how much more difficult it will be in a foreign place?

Having said that, I will keep it short and make a small list for more seasoned entrepreneurs.

1.) Know your target clients !

Since Gastronomy (with the exception of multi million $ ventures, but those do not need this blog) is a highly personalized business in the Philippines (and not only there) you may have to think about yourself and the people you can and want to attract. This is important also in the hindsight, that you may feel uncomfortable in the surrounding of wealthy or intellectual clients and vice versa.  Although Filipinos are very friendly and welcoming by nature, they still seek the companionship of “equals”, so one needs to do a little “soul search”. The good news is, that Filipinos are not too discriminating in that matter,unlike their western counterparts, but still. It is also important that your wife (99% of Restaurant Business is licensed by the wife of a westerner and of that most have active participation in the business, if not playing a major role) fits also into the “target client” group. If your wife comes from a provincial background with a simple education, she will not feel comfortable among the “upper class” and vice versa ! And lower class customers don’t fill your cash register! In the harsh reality of this business you then end up with foreigners and their spouses as only clients. A prospective which is not very promising due to the huge competition in this market niche!


2.) Once you have established that, you can go on to the next step, the location !

Logically the location needs to be adjusted to your target clients. Go where your targets live or frequent. This can be near their residential areas or near the favourite ‘hang out spots”. The latter case is a sure bet, but often also the more expensive option. Going near the residential area (High class Subdivisions etc.) is sometimes good, but more often one one will fail, because when people “go out”, they often do not just want to go to one spot, but rather go a bit of a number of outing, i.e. Restaurant, then a pub or disco, etc. So if you are a “lone spot”, you may stay lone, or require a lot of marketing (flyers etc.). A good take out and delivery/catering orientation can help then.

Good, but expensive bet would be to open in one of the “Shopping Malls” in big cities, but one has to compete with the often very organized Franchise Places, (TGI Fridays, Moons, Lemongrass etc.) which dominate there. Do not think you are better then them, just because they use franchised “prefab” diners and the like, for some unknown reasons people often do not seem to care about that. On the other hand, all those places started as a single outlet as well…good luck.

3.) Which Product you want to sell?

As mentioned in the opening, you need a strong professional background in this business. if you have worked as a Chef before or owned a certain Restaurant, you may want to stick to those products. But beware- adjust your product to the local eating habbits and do not try to be “over authentic” as it may not work at all. The Reason for this is that the vast majority of Filipinos are more accustomed to the US variety of foods, meaning, ‘Italian” or “French” is not really the original, but a US derivation. (The ‘Hawaian” or “Ground meat” Pizza is an example, in Italy one would never find pineapple  or ‘Ragout” on a Pizza ever ! Or stuffed crust and other deviations come from the land of the free) Other problems may occur that some Northern hemisphere food may actually be ‘too heavy” for the tropical climate, and your patrons may end up being over indulged and feel completely “stuffed”, which is not desirable on the long run. Although in the Philippines itself there are a lot of “heavy” foods, try to keep it light.

Also- the Palate changes in the tropical environment, as well as other factors, so food prepared here may taste completely different, despite of actually using the exact same ingredients.  This has to do with humidity, over exposure of your nose to strong smells, body need of more liquids and more.

So test a lot and be critical.

Last, but not least, if you keep importing every single ingredient, you may end up with too high production costs, so try to think about “fusions” and be creative. Stubbornly sticking to “your” cuisine does not help at all. And if you think about it, do Thais or Indians in London or Los Angeles cook exactly as (spicy) as at home? (No, they don’t and they don’t even eat that spicy themselves after a while of living outside of their own country)

4.) If you are sure about the Who, Where and What, you can plan for the “How and Which”. Most likely you will choose a “Themed” place, like an “English Pub“, “Italian Pizzeria” or a “German Restaurant”

Tip- Stay with the clichés people have about those places. There is no use in convincing your patrons that Germany consist of 15 different states, each unique in its cuisine and cultural heritage (or what little is left of it in an Ultra modern High Tech multi cultured nation), they expect “Lederhosen” and ” Beer Music” as well as a kind of rustic “Alpine environment”. Go with it and do not be stubborn. Similar with the food, they expect German sausages and Sauerkraut, even though those foods do not exist in real German Restaurants except for Bavaria, where sausages are served in Pubs as beer snacks. (Sausages are actually German street food! In fact, a German cook (who trains 3 years before becoming a “young cook”, Chef is after 5 years further education and exam, never even learns how to “cook” sausages, as it is not part of the curriculum.)

Same with Italian Restaurants, one CAN try to present the fantastic specialities of his region, but one MUST also offer the all time ‘US Italian” favourites, even when it “hurts” the heritage feelings. (Most US Italian food originates from Sicily, and Sicily is not Italy according to the other Italians) One has a bit more freedom in the decoration though, at least your staff don’t has to run around in short leather pants. 🙂

And so on, try to stick to the clichés and you be fine. if you are still too “proud” to give up your heritage, then don’t name it a “”German, Italian, English” Restaurant or Pub, but call it ” Schleswig Holsteiner”, “Lombardian” or “Walsh” Restaurant and see how far you get with it. With a few million spent in marketing you may open a new trend 🙂

5.) So you got your target customers, your location, your product, your decoration and feel ready to open…what did you forgot?

The Customers, or better the base !!

No place has ever opened from scratch without people and was successful with the exemption of diners in a small US town, but even this already HAD the customers. In a large city one has to compete with many other places and therefore one has to build up a customer base. This can be done with several ways:

a.) Friends and acquaintances. You may have already a lot of buddies from your new city, and you have most likely met them in the watering holes on the weekends. So you can engage them to visit and promote. be aware that you may loose many of them, if you also open a watering hole, as you take away clients from the original place and most likely their loyalty will remain to the original pub…(you been warned!) With a Restaurant this is less likely to happen though.

Your wives friends and relatives (see how point 1 now plays a role). This can be your major sources, as Filipinos are your #1 target customers in any case. To base solely on foreigners is not a good idea

b.)If you are a gastronome, you most likely are already a member (or former) of a civic club at home, such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis and others. If not join them ! But be also active in their civic activities, joining them for the sole purpose of advertising your place will not work very well. You can also offer them a cheap or free venue for their meetings, plan that when you build your business. Function rooms are a hot and desired item in the Philippines anyway!

c.) Advertise, promote, go around yourself to waterholes and create new friendships and acquaintances. Go to public gatherings such as promotion events, openings of hotels etc, and distribute your calling cards. if this isn’t for you (too shy maybe?) then don’t open a Business.

d.) Unneccessary to mention, but you must also always promote and create new gimmicks, even the most trivial “buy one,take one” helps. Have a space on your building where you place a streamer weekly with your latest promo. Since those cost now almost nothing at all (php 10 per sq/ft) and can be created even on a smartphone App, it would be silly NOT to use them. Don’t display them too long, you can always rotate them.

It works on the long run, guaranteed!

e.) other events such as Karaoke Contest, Live Bands etc may work initially, but be careful not to turn into a “multipurpose place” without concept, as they don’t really function on the long run. Better create a reliable and constant Image.

f.) If all seemed to have failed(and you will need a year to get conclusions) you still will see some things which sell well, some promos which worked and some customers which were loyal. Refocus on those and concentrate your efforts on them/those. If you dreamed about having the number one cocktails venue for wealthy artists, but ended up with a load crowd of Yuppie beer guzzlers, then be happy. At least you make money, others don’t. If you have good loyal paying customers, you can even carefully and discreet involve them what else they would like and maybe attract others, but don’t change a running system too much.


However, the decisions and choice are all yours, but one thing you will always need :

Enough money to sustain the fixed costs for 1 year (Rentals, Salaries, Power etc.) if you do not have or can finance this, never ever go into any business.


Another “blackmail” by Evan Iliadis

Mr.Iliadis, as so many delusional Cybertrolls, really thinks that he has a certain ” power” over people and can “force” them to do what they demand.

Here is an Email I received from him, where he expects me to use “influence” at certain People, which of course I denied .evans demandFirst again the strange writing style in “riddle” form. Then follows one of his usual unprovoked insults. A truly “nice” person..

Then again the LIE and “bragging” about a non existent International “Team of Activists”, and the impertinent demand to mingle in an ongoing investigation by the Police and Prosecution of a sovereign nation. ( Which is criminal ! )

He asks that I seriously also shall go to an Embassy of another Nation…

and to ask Interpol to investigate in a local brawl, finally to top all this nonsense, I shall do that all behind the back of the real Victims and complainants of the Case in question ! (That is the couple he mentioned )

And all of this I shall do with evidence based upon several apparently “photoshopped” fuzzy Images he posted in his strange Blogs. Actually up to this point his blogs were not that strange, but lately they became unreadable and incomprehensible for anyone.

He then closes his email with the very threatening : “‘I’ll be waiting” which can only be taken out of of some violent movie ( Schwarzenegger ? )

This is what the Cyberstalker Evan Iliadis lately became, a poor 65 year old delusional Criminal. Does he realize the shame he projects on his Family ?

Anyhow, I think I have posted enough information about this “person”now. He will never stop blogging his Tirades of nonsense, but why not let him have his “hobby”. So if nothing extraordinary happens, I see this”affair” finished sufficiently for me.

If anyone wants to know more,he can contact me through this blog, I be  glad to help.

Thank you,

Guenther Vomberg

The Author, laughing about Evan Iliadis

Evan Iliadis Lies and defamation about the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary !

Here is how Evan Iliadis defames anyone who is devoting time and money to volunteer Organizations.

This is the mechanics, if one cannot attack the Person, simply defame the Rest of his surroundings.

So when the cyberstalker cannot Lie about the Person, he simply defames the Organization.

Now Evan Iliadis insults an “Army” of around 24.000 Civic Minded People in the Philippines. Plus the worldwide uncounted Numbers of Volunteers risking their Life and Limbs at Sea.

One has to realize, that there comes a half literate, who can not even spell the Name correctly of what he defames here, or anything else for that matter, and proclaims with the arrogance only a “madman” can possess, that the honorable Volunteer Organization of the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary is just another “Club”of People.

No Wonder that nobody can take him serious again.

For the innocent Reader it is clear, that Volunteer Coastguards all over the World are beyond doubt to be ranked in the same “honor” category as for example Volunteer Fire Brigades. ( Which ideally mostly also keep themselve busy with playing cards).
And I guess, the Reader of this Blog agree, that it is very good that way. 🙂

Because if one needs the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary, it means Supertyphoons, Landslides, Vulcan Eruptions, Flashflood and other disaster which the “regular” official Coastguard cannot handle anymore.
The Coastguard Motto is  : ” We risk our life to safe yours”

…..and yes, when we have nobody to rescue, we clean beaches also ! And we are proud of it !

Evan Iliadis KNOWS that actually and ADMITS that the Coastguard is an honorable organization in the same “Chat” he loves to citate and partially publishes to defame me so often.
Now it bites him back again.

  • 10 January
    Evan Iliadis
    • Then please, disassociate anything that makes a good person, like your volunteer work in the Coastal guard and others that you have mentioned from this forum. Just delete the topic…
  • Guenther Vomberg

    Note- apparently he really hates that Forum as one can see in that email also :
    His Anger was, because I “advertised” in his hated forum, that anyone with yachts or boats and volunteer mentality and qualification can apply at the Coastguard.

Now let me resume again- Evan Iliadis, who admits, that he does not know anything about me, posts a lot of stories based upon, well what ?

Like that I want anyone to “invest” into anything ?  Where did he get that from ? Most probably the Imagination of a criminal Cyber Harrasser – based upon… his own Fantasy… I have two Restaurant and a Bistro, I do not need any Investor.

Back to the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary. Here is the Link for Interested people which fullfil the qualifications and like to devote their Time and Money.

Because what that impertinent Cyberstalker does not write is that WE PAY TO HELP- everything is financed by the  volunteers, Our Boats, Our Uniform, Our Rescue Material, Communications, everything.
That we wear a Uniform is pretty much common for a volunteer Organization, as mentioned, the Volunteer Fire Brigades do the same. It’s Tradition. An also make sense,because if there is Chaos in , lets hope not, a natural desaster, People would certainly not listen the guidance of some People in civilian clothing.

I will also make sure, that the Philippine Coastguard Admirality see the Impertinent blogs and remarks of this “Person”. 

To insult a volunteer organization is the lowest form of Character a Person can show. 
Maybe Evan Iliadis retract hisstaemnts.

Or he may contact our “Partner” Organization near his home in FRANCE  :

Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer

Guenther Vomberg exposes the falsifications of Evan Iliadis

What most people do not realize, is that Mr. Iliadis falsifies a lot  ( if not all ) of his “Evidences”.

Because most people can not imagine the criminal energy such a cyberstalker can have. False facebook profiles, Photoshop, everything.

Another screenshot of Evan Iliadis Photoshopped fakes :

It isn’t even a good faking…

So- Mr. Iliadis “complains” ( who cares btw.) that I claim to work for the Philippine Government and to proove this, he makes up a facebook Page with the help of Photoshop and some public pictures of my google Plus profile.

Then he “Photoshops” the entire “Artworks”into a Skill Page and write his usual Lies.

I would say, this is “evidence” worse than a six year old child can manufacture…

And Mr. Iliadis is actually very much aware, that THIS IS NOT MY facebook Profile. He published facebook conversations he had with me in his blog, so he has my real facebook.

It is actually

And this is how it looks like…Not much about PhilippineGovernment. And the fact that I am a Commander at the Philippine Coastguard Auxiliary, is not deniable, even by Evan Iliadis. ( So he just defames the entire Volunteer Group and declares them as a “fun club”, but that is another post )

Guenther Vombergs real facebook.

Now what Evan also “hides” in his “Photoshop, is the fact that the Facebook profile he publishes over and over and proclaims as mine, shows a Restaurant Page ! LMAO

And my (Filipina) wife and staff runs the Page. Its is a clearly marked Restaurant Page. For fun we now added a few more Jobs there, because nobody cares where a Restaurant works… 🙂
and that is the original page:

The Real Stranded Shiscook Inn facebook page. And not Evan Iliadis fabricated one.

Now Evan Iliadis will probably proclaim, that I have faked my own facebook Page(s)…  

He is really that nuts !  🙂


Evan lliadis "real target" – an Internet Forum where he got banned.

This is another Email from “my” sick Cyberstalker.

Evan Iliadis real Target, a message board he hates so much.
This was sent to me directly

As one can see,  he is  claiming not to be alone.
“My target and my teams is not only Paul”.
Very interesting grammar, but aside of this,  isn’t it obvious that he has got some serious issues ?
“WE WILL PREVAIL there too”.

The language and choice of words is really really weird.

I don’t see also how I have to explain how I have to “get along” with a certain poster with “VIP member” status in that forum…

I mean, it is an Internet forum (Message board), consisting of thousands of people and even more posts.
And Mr. Iliadis lies here again, I am not a VIP member and never was one. I am an Elite member.
Which everybody over 200 post is….an automatic “title”. VIP is something I don’t know and don’t care either to become.

member Statistic from Living in cebu Forums
A statistic published by Mr. Iliadis himself.

This was a statistic published by Mr.Iliadis in one of his Blogs for another purpose.

I see only 468 thousand posts, 9462 members ( its over 10.000 now) and over 200 posts per/day !

So according to Mr.Iliadis, those are all Criminals and Sexpats ?

And then let us not forget, that Mr.Iliadis does not know any single person he accuses in his blogs.

As in my case, I even got proof in form of an email that he does not know me...or any wrong doing.

Still he makes his nonsense blogs.

But not for free anymore, he has to pay now to host them in an obscure Russian Domain.

But this is another “blog story”

Thank you

My cyberstalker and his lies – exposed with real proofs

Since a few months I am “followed” and “harrassed” by an apparently deranged Cyberstalker named Evan Iliadis.

The Cyber Harrasser Evan Iliadis

It all started relatively harmless, I contacted him in “facebook” to find out some proofs for his extreme harsh allegation against some Foreigners living in the Philippines.

I did not knew those Foreigners, most were not even Living in Cebu or the Philippines anymore, but I saw some of them participating in an Internet forum I joined a few months before.(Dec2010 to be exact, my first ever Forum Participation, I never had an Internet Connection before)

In his blogs he accused that forum to be a host of bad people ( I do not want to repeat the mostly false accusation ), an opinion, which I could not share.

However, after the usual “introductory smalltalk” between civilized People I did ask him for further ‘Evidence” of criminal behaviour in Particular of the  Person who owns that forum. (Entire Conversation here in another blog by another Target of Mr.Iliadis).

He told me to send me some, but nothing followed so I forgot about him and his Promise.
The Forum did not show any Posts of wrong doing or criminal behaviour, and even Mr.Iliadis, “my” Cyberstalker, did until today not send any proof of any of his allegations.

However, a few weeks later Mr. Iliadis suddenly started to publish Lies and Allegations against MY Person in his nonsense blogs, which lead to renewed facebook Conversations.

And apparently he DID react and took his first initial “blog”of and even posted a retraction and apology.
But only for a week or so, then he started again.

Not that I have anything in particular, he simply makes up all those lies and somewhat it is really funny…

The best Part is,that he ADMITS, that he does not know me at all. I got an email from one of his former “Informers” ,or better said,an entire “string”of a conversation between them about me…

Here is the Screenshot of the email

Original Email Communication from a former “Friend” of Mr.Iliadis.

As one can see, his hate is against the Forum Owner, Paul, and he does not have anything in particular against me at all.  

More Important – He admits that he know nothing really about me and has nothing to link me with any wrong doing !!!

So- the Cyberstalker Mr.Iliadis felt that it is time to “Lambast” me… 

Interesting view into the “soul”of a cyberstalker

Another interesting aspect though is the latter part of the email, where he already starts to lie to his (then still “friend”) – albeit absolutely unnecessary.

One can see the actual facebook conversations in another window and look at his email to his (then still “friend”) Apparently Mr.Iliadis already has some troubles with the truth there.
I call him a friend ?? I sent messages 5 times a day ?? Begging him to restore my name ??
What does this Cyberstalker thinks he is ? And where are all those revelations ?

Mr.Iliadis is apparently very very  troubled.

But this will be in another Post with more emails from the Cyberstalker himself.