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This cooking mama now has a restaurant chain

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Chef Ruby Dela Cruz with her family: Husband Engr. Rizaldo and their children Jaira, Jhanna, Paul Jay, and John Kevin.

Chef Ruby Dela Cruz with her family: Husband Engr. Rizaldo and their children Jaira, Jhanna, Paul Jay, and John Kevin.

By Kristelle Bechayda

Running a business that you built from the ground up is far from easy but for chef Ruby Dela Cruz, Any-Haw owner and grand champion of the Sisig Masters program recently launched by Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) Philippines, the makings of a successful business is not rocket science. It all comes down to having the passion and the vision without compromising your values.

Humble beginnings

Established back in 2004, AnyHaw Litson Manok’s first outlet in Sta. Maria, Bulacan was built through the 150,000 pesos capital that chef Ruby’s husband, Engr. Rizaldo, loaned. Both of them spent one week trying out different recipes and came up with something that became an instant hit. “Unang araw ng aming pagbubukas nag sales kami agad ng 125 litson manok, ito ay tinangkilik ng mga tao.” chef Ruby shares.

Their business was off to a good start and soon enough they were able to open their first dinein restaurant back in 2010, wherein the name Any-Haw or ‘kahit anong inihaw’ was derived. Now on its 12th year, Any-Haw Litson Manok has 8 outlet stores and 3 dine-in restaurants.

The non-negotiables

Chef Ruby runs the operations part of her business, while her husband, who works at National Grid Company of the Philippines (NGC), helps her out during the weekends. In their twelve years of running the business together, they have weathered different kinds of challenges, from the rising commodity prices down to handling their assets and liabilities.

Marami kaming pinagdaanan, mostly sa paghandle ng tao. Nagkakaroon kami ng trainings at seminars. Sa mga pagtaas ng presyo, kinakailangan namin pag-aralan ang bawat detalye kung ano ang nararapat.” she shares.

Considering her business as family-oriented, chef Ruby is a kind and understanding employer who makes sure to see to the needs of her employees. But she is particular about one thing: their honesty. “Non-negotiable sa akin once na niloko mo ako. Mahirap nang ibalik iyon.” she explains. “Kailangan na naming magpart ways, pero yung respeto sa isa’t isa kailangan naroon pa rin.”

Some pointers

When asked on what she thought contributed to the success of Any-Haw, the mom of four
believes in giving back and sharing their blessings to everyone, especially to their family and the people who helped them along the way.

Iniisip ko din ang sitwasyon ng mga customer, dapat afford nila ang food.” she adds. “Ang target namin ay ang mga middle class dahil mas marami ang mga nasa ganung estado.”

Chef Ruby also shares these 5 tips for families who plan to start their own business:

1. Kung nagpaplano kayong magtayo ng negosyo, kailangan may passion ka, hindi yung ginagaya mo lang o dahil din kumikita yung ganoong negosyo kaya ka magtatayo.

2. Kailangan focused ka at very hands on sa negosyo.

3. Maging totoo ka sa customer mo.

4. Unahin mo palagi ang customers, then everything will follow.

5. Let God be your business partner.

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