Featured Expert at Work: Fiore Merino
We sat down with Ms. Fiore Merino, and asked about the hip and trendy Café Royal and why Makati is an ideal place for business. It has always been Fiore’s dream to open up a restaurant. Raised as the 7th among 13 children and due to the volume of people eating at home, she has developed a certain love for cooking. Before becoming the CEO of Café Royal, she worked as an account executive in ABS-CBN for the radio department.
How did Café Royal start?
I have business partners who worked to conceptualize and build Café Royal. But before we got here, we started our first restaurant, Argos, in P. Burgos, Makati, 3 years ago. The location is key to any business, especially restaurants. So, when we were offered this space in General Luna, Makati, we saw it as an opportunity and grabbed it. It was a relatively big place and we decided to split it into various sections. One of the sections is where Café Royal is now.
What do you love most about Café Royal?
Café Royal is a place where you can relax and dine with either family or friends. Our staff are approachable. They can assist you without any qualms. The thing I like about our company is that, not only do we seek to delight our customers, we also aim to provide more employment to Filipinos. It is important that we take good care of our employees; their success is our success. Café Royal is not just about the ambiance and the food. What makes a business succeed is its people, and we hope to get there using this formula.
Why did you choose Makati?
Makati is a strategic place for business. Makati is Makati. It is the primary CBD of the Philippines. Foot traffic really drives a business, especially for restaurants. It has such a diverse population – expats, the locals, foodies – and almost all types of people are in Makati. Bustling and full of life, we chose Makati because if you make it here, it is as if you can make it anywhere.
What do you love most about the neighborhood?
Makati is abundant in condos and hotels. In the business perspective, it is really a good place to put up a business in a tourist district, in a city that offers something new every day. You will never go wrong in a tourist district that offers a lot of selections.
Why do you think people should invest in a commercial property in Makati?
Makati will never die. People might say that BGC is the new Makati, but Makati still is the center of development in the Philippines. It is better to open up a business in a center that is already established.
If you would open another business in Makati, what would it be?
We haven’t saturated the market yet and that is what we want to focus on right now. Instead of starting a new business, we want to focus on opening more branches.
Do you think Makati is an ideal residential place?
What is your advice to people who want to open their own business?
If you are able to open one business, develop it. Before you branch out, develop what you have first, be an expert in what you do. For restaurants, perfect your recipes, the way you handle your staff, and your day to day operations. Do not spread yourself too thin because you might end up losing everything.
With the right motivation and a fool-proof plan, visions can turn into realities. For Fiore, focus is essential to achieve goals. Maintaining a business may be tedious, but with the right perspective and strategy, it will develop and prosper.
How do you keep a right perspective to achieve goals? Share it with us in the comments section.