After 29 years, the original moves to a bigger and better home in A.Venue.
The iconic Rufo’s Famous Tapa Makati in Kalayaan Ave. had been a favorite go-to place for delicious and affordable Pinoy dishes since its inception in 1984. It was one of the few places open 24/7 and customers came at all hours of the day. The humble, hole-in-the-wall ‘tapsihan’ became popular among International School (IS) teachers and students, employees, over-timers, and party-goers who wanted quick, affordable and satisfying comfort food.
When the landlord decided after 29 years to no longer renew the lease, Rufo’s Management quickly moved to re-locate a few steps away to its current location in A.Venue Mall, Makati Ave. “The New Rufo’s Makati” at A.Venue is now a 2-level restaurant which seats 150 people, with multiple air-con and al-fresco sections, function rooms for parties and seminars, and a 2nd floor balcony. Rufo’s A.Venue commits to maintain the same affordable prices, 24/7 operations and laid-back ambiance of the Kalayaan Ave. store while offering a safer (24-hour Security), more mainstream site beside well-known international cafes and restaurants.
Rufo’s A.Venue opened immediately after the Kalayaan branch closed and while this indeed marked the end of an era, it also signified the beginning of Rufo’s rapid expansion through franchising as more stores are geared to open this year. After establishing branches in A.Venue Shaw, Eastwood, Ortigas, Las Pinas, Vito Cruz, SM Makati, McKinley Hill, and Macapagal Ave., more are under construction in SM North Edsa, Retiro, UST and Timog. Its President, Paul Izon Reyes projects that by April of this year, there will be 15 Rufo’s stores in Metro Manila and nearby municipalities through its Rufo’s Famous Franchise Program. Partnering with Francorp, the World Leader in Franchise Consultancy and with the help of ChinaBank Savings’ supportive SME programs, Reyes plans to have 30 by end of 2013.
Considered as one of today’s most progressive Filipino fast-casual dining restaurant chains, Rufo’s has been a favorite go-to place for delicious and affordable Pinoy dishes since its inception in 1984. But it was not until the concept was acquired in 2003 by Reyes, (a self-confessed Rufo’s regular customer way back in his grade school and high school days at International School Manila in front of the original Kalayaan Ave. branch), that the company considered expansion through Rufo’s Famous Franchise Corporation (RUFOCORP).
Under Reyes’ leadership and management, Rufo’s’ patronage increased considerably with the brand gaining more awareness and recognition in the restaurant industry. From 16 employees in 2003, Rufo’s now employs 186 people. “The growth has been very satisfying. It was a lot of hard work but this continues to pay off.” In Fact, Rufo’s was featured as one of the more Promising Franchise Concepts in the 10th Anniversary Issue of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2010.
“We are passionate in pursuing our mission of BUILDING and GIVING VALUE – not only to our customers but also to our employees and our franchisees. At Rufo’s, we believe that success is a product of doing the right things and not just doing things right,” Reyes added. “And we want to empower aspiring entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to enjoy financial freedom through our franchise program. Ours is a viable franchise and investment. We have our systems in place. We are run professionally and efficiently in all aspects of operations – from HR and training, to food preparation and safety, marketing and customer service.” Reyes believes that franchising is the best way to grow their business. “We have numerous inquiries about franchising, even as far as Boracay, Cebu and Davao. We are very discerning about future franchisees because we want entrepreneurs who will be very dedicated to their stores, to be passionate about the brand and to be hands-on owners,” he explained.
Reyes said that Rufo’s staying power in the highly-competitive restaurant landscape is due in large part to its food. “Our tapa (fried beef strips) is unique because we serve it in Rufo’s Famous Sauce. It is juicy and tender and with a sweet sauce that Filipinos love. That’s why we have this slogan “Sauce Pa Lang, Ulam Na”. That’s how delectable our food is. “ While the restaurant has expanded its menu to include other Filipino dishes such as liempo, sizzling chicken sisig, tinola, bulalo, boneless bangus , pork chops, its signature Beef Tapa or “Tapsilog” remains the star and the bestseller to this day. “We give people real, freshly-cooked food at the time they need it. We are open 24/7, everyday for dine-in, delivery and take out. We are accessible and affordable and we strive to walk the ‘extra mile’ in terms of service,” Reyes added.
Rufo’s short-term objective is to be the Number 1 Tapa Restaurant in the country. For the long-term, Reyes said they want to be acknowledged as the Number 1 Affordable Filipino Fast-Casual Dining Resto in the Philippines.
With the transfer of the iconic Rufo’s Makati to a bigger and better location, fueled by Reyes’ entrepreneurial spirit, backed by a brand that delivers quality and value, and with the opening of 30 total branches, Rufo’s might just be able to reach that dream, sooner than people think.
For inquiries about The Rufo’s Famous Franchise Program, contact 477-6652, 532-6335 or 533-1446 and look for Lala Alcantara or Ella Rompe. You may also visit their website at http://www.rufos.com.ph