“The best entrepreneurs are those who have weathered through challenges and failures and kept on course before finally getting to their successful venture out of grit and determination” – Carlo Buenaflor, Biggs CEO
Biggs has been around for 34 years. It all started in 1983 when three enterprising ladies, Nene Bichara, Nienie Buenaflor and Maricar Manjon gave the food business a shot. At that time, they thought a take-out counter specializing in hamburger and fries was perfect for then developing Naga. From Mang Donald’s to Nalds to Carl’s Diner, the outlet went through a lot of name changes until they finally settled with Biggs Diner. A name that reflected the growth of what was once a small take-out counter offering burgers and fries to all Nageños to now a special diner concept offering American food and a lot more. What set Biggs Diner apart from other fastfood restaurants was its ability to serve quality food in large portions in a casual dining environment while maintaining affordable prices that could easily rival fast-food chains.
There was no stopping Biggs Diner and soon enough franchised outlets opened and continued to sprout all over Bicol region and nearby provinces.
Currently, there are 9 company-owned stores and 7 franchised stores located all over the Bicol Region as well as in Batangas. To keep up with the dynamic food industry, Biggs is now ready to take on the next level, that is, to be known to the whole country through franchising, not just in the Bicol Region, as a local restaurant serving quality affordable food big in taste.
Over 15 years of partnership, Biggs and HICAPS have been together through thick and thin. More than the quality products they provide, Hicaps has been quick to adjust and respond to every change Biggs had and would continue to adapt as they plan to expand and be known as a national food service company throughout the country. The attentiveness of HICAPS team to Biggs’ needs is one of the key reasons why the partnership has prospered and stayed this long. It is how the relationship is managed from both sides as they would describe it. A supplier that is one with them in their vision, at the same time, passes the most stringent selection. To attest to that, HICAPS was awarded as Biggs’ Supplier of the Year in 2012.
Crediting the success of Biggs Diner to his family, especially to his mom, Nienie Buenaflor, Carlo Buenaflor has these tips to share to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Before venturing into business, work and gain experience first in a multinational company for at least 5 years. By doing so, you get a better perspective and understanding of the business world around you, which industry to be in or what products to sell. The next big step is learning how to fail. Prepare to fail because every failure is just a stepping stone maybe to your next challenge or the success waiting for you. The journey to your dream is going to be full of trials and tribulations. What will separate you from the rest is that you have become resilient because of these learning experiences. If you are not prepared to fail and fail hard, then maybe entrepreneurship is not the right way for you. Follow your passion but be practical. It should be a meeting of passion and practicality. And lastly, do not take no for an answer.