article by Henry Ong, RFP
Maritel Nievera got married at only 17 years old to a Pampagueño who happened to own a small restaurant. During that time, her husband asked her to help in the family business but little did she know that she would end up managing the whole operations in the next 10 years.
Nievera eventually separated from her husband when the marriage did not work. She wanted to be away from Pampanga and moved to Quezon City, where she bought a small property using the proceeds she received from the separation.
Being a single parent, Nievera needed to find a source of income to feed her two children. Without an educational qualification to rely on, having dropped out from college at a young age, she thought that the only skills she knew was to manage a restaurant.
Using the property she bought in Quezon City, Nievera decided to put up her own restaurant, a Kapampangan specialty dining place called Cabalen.
The first Cabalen restaurant was so successful that in a few years, Nievera started to expand by opening more branches in major malls. Today, Cabalen is the largest Kapampangan specialty chain in the Philippines with over 30 branches, and another 20 expected to open by year-end.
The Cabalen group of restaurants also ventured into other food brands such as Mangan restaurant, Soi, BKK Express and EatPinoy, among others.
How did Cabalen survive the challenges of the changing landscape in the restaurant industry and become the most dominant Kapampangan specialty restaurant? Here are the five business lessons every entrepreneur can learn from Maritel Nievera, founder of Cabalen group of restaurants:
1. Know how to differentiate and find a niche market
A differentiated marketing strategy enables a business to develop a competitive advantage in a market that is dominated by larger competitors.
2. Know how to grow sales with word-of-mouth marketing
When customers love a product or service, they are bound to talk about it. The recommendations they make are much more highly valued than those that are advertised.
3. Know how to compete with a flexible business model
One of the biggest challenges to business success is learning how to understand and respond to changes in the competitive environment without losing focus to achieve goals.
4. Know how to provide value by delivering quality service
Setting service standards enables the business to deliver products and services in a way that consistently exceed customers’ expectations. Providing quality service plays an important role in promoting customer satisfaction and making customers happy.
5. Know how to offer superior product with constant innovation
Developing new products to fulfill ever-changing needs of customers is one way to drive long-term profitability of the business. By coming up with new ways to improve products and services, the business not only increases its productivity but also the value of its brand.
Cabalen is the restaurant everyone should look out for be it in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao. Your favorite Eat All You Can buffet is definitely there to give you a delectable feast.
Last 2017 the famous restaurant has expanded significantly fulfilling the promise that there is always a Cabalen near you. With its newly opened branches in SM Sta Rosa, SM City Puerto Princesa, Robinsons Tacloban, SM Center Tuguegarao and Ayala Malls Feliz, your celebrations are about to get merrier!
Cabalen aims to share its extensive and premium line of dishes including their one of a kind Kare-Kare and other distinct and delicate dishes; Caldereta, Beringhe, and their very own Crispy Pritchon to the mass for a valuable price. Be it for meetings or a memorable celebratory; a Cabalen is always ready to give you the standard excellent Filipino service that you deserve.
2017 has been a year of fruitful growth for Cabalen as they continue to be unstoppable with 37 branches globally. Watch out 2018 as they continue to dominate the buffet industry!