Food plays a big part in the way Filipinos bond. Having unappetizing meals not only for take-out and deliveries but also for meetings, parties, and outdoor activities take away the enjoyment of savoring that moment. While food deliveries always strive to bring orders piping hot, by the time the order is brought to the customer's doorstep, the temperature may have become tepid, which affects the texture and the flavors.
This is why Hotbox Philippines seeks to change the way everyone enjoy packaged meals with technology. With just a pull of the string in its self-heating boxes, diners will get their food fresh and hot when it is time to eat.
A testament to this Filipino innovation is the country's “Ultimate Leading Man” Piolo Pascual who partnered with Hotbox CEO Romeo Joven and Eric Quizon to bring this vision to reality.
“I'm actually involved with Hotbox as a partner because I believe in this product. I know that many Filipinos love the convenience of ordering food for delivery and Hotbox is actually an exciting new way to enjoy our meals. Bilang isang Filipino, I'm happy and proud to be part of this innovation in the country,” Pascual said in a press conference.
“I remember Romeo came to my house one day, wanted to talk about this exciting new product. He showed me Hotbox and he demonstrated how it works and it's actually a game changer. Na excite ako and I wanted to be part of Hotbox immediately lalo na it's local and Filipino made,” the actor recalled.
Joven, who is also a Filipino-American TV commercial producer and Pascual's long-time friend, started the journey in 2018. With his experience ordering food through deliveries and receiving it cold, he researched out of curiosity.
“I found out that the US military have a way to heat up their food. What they did was they would give a large pouch, and inside that are small pouches and heating pad. Then they would put water into a heating pad and it will heat up within 15 minutes,” Joven said.
“So I found that to be kind of ingenious in a way but the only problem was that there are too many steps and it can get dangerous because if you touch it yourself, you can get burned. I figured that I wanted to make a way to make it more convenient, easier and more fun for the consumers. That's when we started the research again and all the test. A year and a half later in 2019, the product is ready,” he added.
Hotbox Philippines was supposed to launch in 2020 but the pandemic prevented that to happen. They thought the business was dead but soon, hotels and restaurants started to ask for their innovation in order to send their food as if they were just right out of their kitchen.
“Our business was able to pivot to this type of model during the pandemic. Now we can get people bring a hot meal anytime, anywhere. It has elevated their dining experience aside from the functionality. Meal times have become more fun,” Joven added.
Indeed, as fit and healthy as he is, Pascual also knows how his food should be — he loves eating his favorite meals when it's hot and tasty.
“I am very meticulous when it comes to food. For me eating is a reward after a whole day of work so I make sure I eat the right food. No matter how much I eat, it has to be hot and fresh. Sometimes kapag malamig na, hindi na siya masarap,” Pascual mentioned.
“And sometimes when you're out and on the road, you have less choices in the food that you eat, especially when you're in a remote locations like for my case, we always go to bubble shoots and it's hard to get the food always ready whenever you want to eat it. But when I discovered Hotbox, hindi na siya problema sa akin ngayon,” he finally added.
The self-heating boxes are also more earth-friendly because there is less plastic waste and there is no need to use electricity for a microwave.
Hotbox Philippines offers several Filipino and international cuisine choices in its online menu (www.hotboxph.com). They can also create customized boxes for meetings or special occasions.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net