Friday, September 29, 2023

Weng’s Wings: Not chickening out risks for financial freedom


Weng’s Wings: Not chickening out risks for financial freedom

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Photo grab from Palawan Vibes FB Page

Weng’s Unlimited Chicken Wings started with the risky use of a home-made recipe of marination and sauce formula that later on proved to be key in launching one of Palawan’s favorite culinary offerings.

In fact, branches of Weng’s Wings are considered a destination where both Palawenyo locals and wandering tourists go for a simple yet delightful food experience that they share with the family behind this feat.

Grab from Weng’s Wings FB page.

A new concept in Palawan

The business got its name from the matriarch of the Hernandez family – a humble electrician married to a teacher; he was simply called Weng. Lyka, one of his six children, learned about unlimited chicken wings as a student at the De La Salle University (DLSU).

The concept of unli wings was new on the island that time, so to be the first to do it was a big challenge. Weng’s Wings eventually opened its first stall inside the defunct Junction Street Market in Puerto Princesa.

Caryl Lou, Lyka’s older sister, recalled how tough it was to do the kick off.

“Seryoso ba? Diyan ba? Parang walang tao dun, parang ang dilim pa,” Caryl was told, suggesting the pub district was not a good location for them.

However, all the fears turned into smiles when they saw tables filled with people wanting a piece of their chicken.

“Hindi namin in-expect yung crowd. Grabe yung pag-welcome ng Palaweños. Nakita namin ‘yung love nila sa unlimited chicken wings,” Caryl recollected.

They really needed the business, as per Caryl they are not a business family who have full knowledge in managing an investment, her sister Lyka has the one to say in order to be debt free from her tuition in La Salle, she think that working as an employee would not be the way for her to settle her accounts, and asking their mother to get loans will be the easiest way to have a capital for the small business they want to start.

“Gusto nyang makatulong, what if mag business na lang tayo para mas mabilis nating mabayaran ang utang. Nakipagsapalaran kami, nag loan talaga si Mama so it is family business, nag loan talaga sila for that, namili sila ng gamit etc, we open last July 27, 2017,” Caryl Added.

Photo by Uno Adventures FB page

Wings fly amid pandemic

In 2020, businesses across the globe struggled. With the loan needed to be paid continually, the Hernandez family resorted to social media to survive.

As they saw more losses, they had to give up their stall.

However, the pandemic did not stop Palaweño’s craving for Weng’s chicken wings. They requested the Hernandez family to continue cooking from home, opening new doors for a thrilling new chapter.

The new setup was similar to what Lyka had seen before in Metro Manila – a house inside a subdivision serving unli chicken wings. Caryl had her and her siblings cook and deliver their products door-to-door.

From cooked wings, they began offering raw and marinated chicken. Their customers did not mind doing the cooking as long as they also get a bottle of sauce as part of the package.

As the pandemic went on with more customers joining the queue, Caryl discovered the convenience brought about by delivery mobile apps. She said that technologies like mobile apps made their work much easier.

“Ang laki ng tulong ng technology lalo na sa social media, dyan kami talaga humahakot ng customer,”

Hernandez Sisters Caryl Lou and Lyka. (Photo courtesy of Uno Adventures)

Family as a team

Six years later, Weng’s Wings maintains three branches in Brgy. Tiniguiban (Puerto Princesa), Stellar Grounds (Puerto Princesa), and Narra.

Together, Weng serves as the anchor of the family team. Each of the six children are given a task including marketing and promotions, human resource, graphics designs, and other vital works.

From years of supervising the commissary and performing other routines, Caryl has come to discover one needed ingredient in this kind of business – family.

With her family’s team effort, they brought Weng’s Wings to bigger heights.  They upgraded their plating by using wax paper, both for sustainability and cost-efficiency.

From the initial 20 kilos per day, they are now serving 2,500 kilos per month. Aside from cooked wings, they now have options for whole chicken.

Lyca navigating BDO mobile app thru her cellphone. (Photo by Uno Adventures FB page)

BDO as a partner

Even before launching Weng’s Wings, Caryl has been finding financial refuge in his BDO Kabayan Account. Practical solutions from the country’s largest bank helps her organize her finances efficiently.

Caryl explained how a phone app, its access to BDO’s online banking, has become a big help in the operations of Weng’s Wings.

“Malaking tulong sa amin kasi ‘yung mga suppliers namin ng chicken, ino-online transfer na lang ang bayad, ” Caryl said. She said that the fast transfer of money helped them build a trustworthy relationship with suppliers.

She also relies on BDO to have big bills broken into loose change. She noted that BDO’s affiliation with SM Mall is fairly advantageous to clients.

One of her sisters is also a loyal client of the bank, with an active car loan recently approve.

For a startup entrepreneur like Caryl, these benefits she gets from BDO actually makes the big difference in her life and in their business. That is why she remained a loyal client of the bank for 10 years and counting.

From risk to financial freedom

With their mother’s loan already settled and three branches thriving, the Fernandez family is up for a bigger journey. Caryl says it would be interesting to see how Filipinos outside Palawan would love to try their unlimited chicken wings with their home-made recipe of marination and sauce formula.

“Pero kung maglo-loan ka tapos i-ooffer mo yung managing sa iba, hindi ka kasi marunong nun, like maraming ganyan nag-franchise, magbabayad na lang kasi gusto nila mag invest, parang binigay mo lang yung pera mo sa kanila, kasi kami hanggang ngayon hands on pa rin, hindi ko sinasabing may malaki na kaming savings, may malaki ng kita, until now umiikot pa rin ang puhunan.” Hernandez stressed.

They are a still in learning curb of making better for their future, she admits that they are not that big name for now, but little by little they are going further, going back it’s the risk worth living and fighting for.

“Yung family ko before isipin mo ang teacher, ang sweldo ni Mama anim kaming nag aaral sa Palawan State University, napupunta lang doon, ang baon kulang, ngayon wala kang problema sa pagkain, so very helpful talaga ang business, yung financial freedom much better than before,” Caryl Lou said in closing.