Businesses took a big hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the food and beverage industry in the country. In Cebu, just when businesses are starting to recover from the health crisis late last year, Super Typhoon Odette struck and further devastated many establishments. At that point, the restaurant scene in Cebu was languishing.
But with the economy reopening and restrictions easing this year, a Filipino floating restaurant owned by one of the most well-known food groups in Cebu is coming back in a big way.
Just one of the 17 brands under the Cebu-based and family-owned Pages Group, Lantaw Floating restaurant aims to create a dining experience similar to a tranquil ocean cruise – surrounded not just by the calming blue waters but by a feast of Filipino dishes.
“Lantaw basically offers you a very native Filipino experience, akin to how you would feel if you’re dining by the sea. We have the freshest catch of the day since we have sutokil offerings and also a grilled selection,” said Trisha King, Marketing Head for the Pages Food Group.
The Lantaw Floating Restaurant which started with its main branch in Cordova faced the impact of the pandemic and the super typhoon head-on as the floating structure itself was destroyed by Typhoon Odette last December 2021.
However, as the pandemic shut down some branches of the food brands under Pages group, and the Lantaw floating structure destroyed, the food group’s social media presence grew by leaps and bounds as Cebuanos took to ordering meals online. The food group quickly pivoted and developed their own in-house delivery service that catered to all their brands.
Staying online and connected is part of the Group’s strategy in moving forward as it still gets inquiries through its social media pages. In this regard, it has relied on the pure-fiber connection of Converge ICT Solutions Inc. in powering its point of sale systems and internal connectivity.
“Even before (Super Typhoon) Odette, we already had Converge in several of our restaurants. Specifically for Lantaw, when the typhoon happened, we had to decide if we would push through with our monthly subscription. Our IT specialists called Converge and they were quick to respond and reinstalled when we were about to reopen this branch,” noted Trisha.
In 2022, the Pages Group, seeing the opportunity to restart the brick and mortar businesses, is reconstructing the Lantaw floating restaurant and says it will be ready in a year’s time. It also opened a second branch in Il Corso.
While the floating restaurant itself is being rebuilt, the area that used to be a parking lot adjacent to it has been converted into a bright and welcoming open-air dining area, so it can start serving the Filipino favorites of its customers.
“We’re doing very well actually, we just reopened this branch in Cordova last June. We decided to rebuild a small portion, like a prelude to our floating restaurant, because we want to make sure the brand continues to be felt in Cebu. Because it is still loved by everybody,” noted Trisha.
Now with Lantaw’s Cordova branch and the connectivity powered by Converge, recovery of the food brand can fully take place until the floating restaurant can be rebuilt.
“We have to make sure customers are very pleased with the internet and for our POS system to keep running on a reliable connection. We have to make sure we have the best brand out there for our internal systems and the satisfaction of our customers,” ended Tricia.
To know more about Converge, visit their website convergeict.com.