From BPO exec to entrepreneur – The Manila Times
“I visit all my stores daily to check on the critical aspects of the business such as customer service.”
SPENDING almost 17 hours a day monitoring social media can be dizzying. Yet that is what restaurateur and former BPO (business process outsourcing) executive Kim Mendoza has been doing since he left the corporate world three years ago.
Managing his restaurants since 2019 has given Mendoza the “time freedom” that he always sought before he got into the food and beverage business. “You are the boss. Your rules. Your way,” he said.
His restaurants are all based in Quezon City: EUT (Eat, Unwind, Travel) Café and Bochog Litson House are in the Batasan area while Avocadoria is at the Ever Gotesco Mall along Commonwealth Avenue. He has a very lean staff, totaling 11 for all three locations.
“I use social media to promote our stores,” said Mendoza, who decided to forgo costlier traditional advertising. “I also join online selling groups to make it more public. I collaborate with influencers and famous personalities for an X-deal.”
Before he shifted to F&B, Mendoza was doing freelance franchising jobs. “I am still into it,” he admitted, adding that lucrative commissions have “helped me market my stores easily.”
Expectedly, he encountered challenges when the pandemic hit. “Getting the right people to be part of your team is important,” he said. “People who are competent and with genuine concern. I also had to replace staff. I did numerous re-training and uptraining.”
“Another factor is the location and buying power of the customers around you. Our location is more of a residential area. And 80 percent of the people in Batasan are below average class,” he added.
In these trying times, Mendoza is proud that he can help other people by giving them jobs that can sustain their families and loved ones. “You get to serve your community with your different restaurants and hotel quality-grade dishes,” he said.
He has had to make adjustments and, in doing so, learned how to attract new customers as well as maintain brand image.
“I take care of the customer complaints,” Mendoza said. “I visit all my stores daily to check on the critical aspects of the business such as customer service, inventory, sales reporting, etc.”
“I give equal treatment to all my customers,” he said, but added that regular “receive the latest and upcoming menu that will make them more excited. We also provide loyalty cards so they will keep coming back.”
Initial childhood ambition
Mendoza's initial childhood ambition was to become a doctor, “but it didn't happen due to the financial situation of our family back then. I decided to join the BPO industry, which ultimately became my bread and butter for 14 years before I started my own business.”
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from San Beda University. “Unfortunately, I wasn't able to apply what I have learned from my college life to my first job which was in a call center,” he said.
Answering inquiries from clients or customers while also visiting his restaurants every day is what keeps Mendoza's days occupied. “It's all about time management,” he said.
“Finding time with your family despite the workload is [also] very important. Use your phone calendar to block important dates. Likewise, that helps me organize my time with my loved ones.”
Mendoza still manages to unwind and spend quality time with family. Taiwan was the last destination he visited in 2019 before the pandemic hit. “I enjoy going to comedy bars with or without friends and sing my favorite Regine [Velasquez] songs,” he said. “It helps me maintain my sanity. Singing keeps my heart and whole being in shape and in good mood.
“With my family, we go out once in a while and dine in a restaurant in Quezon City. I prefer watching movies on Netflix or in a big cinema. I want to go to places I have never been to before or try other unconventional things. I love to swim once in a while.”
His parents and siblings provide emotional and moral support and he noted that “[t]he wisdom that you get from your mom, especially, is extremely helpful.”
Not surprisingly, his mom is also his role model. “She has been my idol since day one,” he said. “She always reminded me that 'Nobody will help you except yourself and your family. So, always take care of yourself. Learn to surrender everything to God'.”
P5,000 at Lexber International in Quezon City
Prayer devotion then phone session
Time spent on social media
Almost 17 hours a day
My mom, Lucita Mendoza, and Christian Gaza, the famous influencer
Sales and marketing plus customer service
To become comfortably rich so I can ask my parents to retire already
I love traveling to different places, especially abroad.