Lechon maker finding ways to cope with rising demand
Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - September 3, 2017 - 4:00pm

CEBU, Philippines — It’s business as usual for Rico's Lechon amid the closure of its commissary and two restaurants based in Cebu City, while the company is making plans to expand and invest for standardization processes.

In an interview with Enrico V. Dionson, the founder of "Rico's Lechon" brand, he said that while the company hopes that the Cebu City government will re-open its businesses based in the City, it has hitched on a 240 square meter "lechonan" area in Mandaue City to accommodate the demand at the same time to support the affected employees.

Although the production capacity of its temporary commissary area in Mandaue is much smaller than the 2,000 square meter area in Talamban, it is sustaining the orders, and daily requirement of its branch in Mactan Island.

With a smaller commissary now, Rico's Lechon, managed and operated by the family-managed corporation called 3MRS Dionson Corporation, can only make an average of 20 lechons a day, from the normal count of 60 a day.

About 70 percent of the total 213 employees are affected by the closure, while the company losses an average earning of P300 thousand revenue they used to earn each day from the two restaurants.

According to Dionson, the company has to impose alternate job assignments for some restaurant crews to serve the lone branch in Mactan. Meanwhile, others were advised to look for temporary jobs.

At present, Dionson said the company is looking for possible areas in Mandaue City and a bigger alternative commissary in order to sustain the business and accommodate the growing demand.

Dionson mentioned that while the orders continue to come in even after the announcements, capitalists also from other neighboring cities and provinces like Bacolod, Davao, Boracay are constantly convincing him to transfer production or expand in their respective places.

Even though these offers are comforting and a bit tempting, Dionson said he has no plans of opening in other provinces or locations outside of Cebu province, to keep his brand "unique to Cebu" and that tourists have to come to Cebu to taste his kind of "Lechon."

The company is also currently working and investing into getting several compliance certifications such as ISO, GMP (Good Manufacturing Process), and the National Meat Inspection (NMI), among others.

It is also planning to use BioGas for its fuel requirement, and will employ a waste water treatment for its production plant and commissary.

The 20-year old lechon-making business of 3MRS Dionson Corporation, was ordered closed by the Cebu City government early August 2017 for failure to comply with permits for its two restaurant branches in Mabolo, and Escario, as well as its commissary and slaughter house in Talamban area for alleged non-compliance of environmental permits. (FREEMAN)

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