Drive-thru, delivery new normal in Cebu food business

DRIVE-THRU. A biker relays his order through a mic box installed right at the drive-thru lane of Leylam, a Turkish-inspired Shawarma food company, on V. Rama Avenue, Cebu City. Leylam’s vice president for operations Alsmith Ricana on Wednesday (Sept. 28, 2021) said their first-ever shawarma food drive-thru concept store is a testament that drive-thru and delivery are becoming a new normal in the food business in Cebu amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. (Contributed photo)

CEBU CITY – A stall-based food company executive on Wednesday said food delivery and drive-thru concept food stores are now becoming a new normal in the food industry amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Alsmith Ricana, vice president for operations of Leylam, a Turkish-inspired food company, cited the two-month hiatus of its shawarma-based business last year as a turning point in coming up with new concepts in its bid to remain open at the height of the pandemic.
“At the height of the pandemic, Leylam managed to come up with new strategies to adapt and survive. It has managed to become a delivery leader in the food industry by partnering with two of the biggest delivery platforms in the country. By the end of 2020, Leylam was able to be at the forefront of (the) food delivery business,” he said in a statement.
He said the launching Tuesday of their drive-thru concept store along the busy street of V. Rama Avenue here became an expression of their company’s contribution to the Cebuano community in its fight against coronavirus and keeping in mind the more than 1,000 employees that they vowed to retain despite the downturn of the economy.
The pandemic, Ricana said, pushed the company to come up with new ways to serve its customers.
In June 2020, it introduced a mobile food truck designed to drive and park at different locations where customers’ mobility became a challenge due to strict quarantine protocols, he added.
Ricana said “drive by” allows customers to buy their favorite shawarma wraps, rice and noodles, without going out of their vehicles. This store is open 24/7.
The company’s deluxe stores, he said, offer a different dining experience with its “instagrammable” store looks, new menu line, and fast casual service process which was introduced when the company did a full rebranding in 2017.
This Turkish-inspired food firm that captured the warmth and food-loving traits of Filipinos began to introduce a unique food selection to the Philippine market in May 2005. (PNA)

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