I haven’t been breathing over the weekend. I think I won’t be breathing till mid-July. Suddenly I have a rush of things to do that I can hardly even write in my own blog! Well anyway, one good thing though is that I’m learning a whole lot from my new responsibility.
We have a gourmet take-out stall in SM now, so I guess I’ll be hanging around that place a lot. It’s a breath of fresh air actually, I’ve been getting so tired of being in Rockwell so much that this was a very welcome change. Let me tell you a little about my new hangout.
SM Hypermart Pasig is crazy. It’s full of people almost all the time (which is very good for a store owner in there), and the fresh selection is absolutely mind-blowing! Well I guess I haven’t seen a place that has a fresh section so huge…with items so really fresh! They have a mind-blowing amount of items, and it being SM, they try their best to be the first and last place you’ll ever need to go to in terms of looking for various mid-prized stuff.
It is almost like going to a wet market, but it’s clean. And sometimes they have surprise goodies in the fresh section, like FRESH RASPBERRIES, BLACKBERRIES (both from Driscoll’s and are quite pricey…but WHO CARES?! THERE ARE RASPBERRIES IN THE PHILIPPINES?! I just find that mind-blowing. I used to munch on the same brand while I was in the States), Tatsoi (which is great for salads), live snails (escargot), live shrimps, dulong and all sorts of other fresh goodies. I bought a 1 kilo hito once, LIVE, and it was literally jumping out of the plastic and made the cashier scream. Anyway, bbq’d that thing a few hours later, but I had to kill it first. :p
Going back, working for this new place, I have had the chance to see the ins and outs…oh my! I never knew what huge orchestration is needed daily to make things work in this place. Everyone must be organized, employees all follow a strict set of rules, but people are happy. My new neighbors the cashier and Galileo deli seem to be that way. I can see why though, foot traffic is great and there’s always something to do. Lull hours don’t really seem to exist here. I usually take a “fresh section” walk break just to breathe a little from trying to entertain and explaining to our customers what we’re all about
I had problems with our warmer maker. I had issues with the warmer. It worked okay but it looked bad. Today I was able to find a way to spruce it up a little and make things look more appetizing and less like a tinpot. I am still waiting for our designer to come over and install better lights…in the supermarket and food stall business, it seems that one HUGE factor is lighting. Much like food styling. No matter how good the food looks. Put it under some ugly lights and you immediately reduce it’s mouthwatering quotient. Presentation and packaging also are big factors, and the biggest, would probably your person’s ability to sell.
In something new like our stall, people don’t quite understand all the food that we serve. I try to make our take-off points different for each customer. Others are more interested in the freshness of the food, others are more interested in the thought that it’s restaurant-quality, others think about price and others presentation and even who made it. Thank god I seem to have answers to all of their questions. One of the funniest comments I’ve heard today though was “Sansrival? ang alam ko lang sansrival ay yung may graham crackers” That made even one of our chefs (Chef Rizal) crack up. This is why you need a pretty good talker, to explain the food and let people know how to do it. Others appreciate the fact that we make food that’s too time consuming to make.
So far, day one was far more tiring than day 2. I guess we are still adjusting. But we’re happy our stall looks promising, and the customers are starting to respond to our stall. People seem to be very happy about our chiller and our food selection. I’m hoping that in a few weeks, most of the grocery goers are used to us and are already comfy enough to move around and grab stuff they like.