Cebu, Philippines — Last February 3, I was invited to the opening of Rico’s Lechon at the Mactan Promenade, a short few meters away from the Mactan International Airport. As a Lechon addict, I did not hesitate when invited. I can still remember the time when we had our Lechon Business years ago, I felt giddy with excitement since I know how it feels to be having such business. I remember my father was a hands-on entrepreneur. He didn’t hesitate to do the process himself to make sure the quality of the product. Tourists and other visitors in and out of Cebu will definitely enjoy “Cebu’s Best Tasting Lechon” with fellow travelers, family, colleagues, friends or even bring some for PASALUBONG to expectant family members.
What’s New in Town
Changing the menu raised the Cebuano Lechon dining experience. Unveiling the new menu, Rico’s restaurants will be serving native Cebuano favorites with a twist. These treats are Special Danggit, Lechon Salpicao, Dinugguan (Pork Blood Stew), Sisig, Bicol Express [their own take] and Kinilaw (Ceviche). And on top of that, the signature Rico’s Lechon is definitely on top of the list known for it’s savory meat and crispy skin.
To balance the palate, Rico’s menu has included signature drinks and desserts. Sweet treats such as Pandan Tapioca, Oreo Mango Float and Budbud ug Tsokolate are available as well as thirst quenchers like Cucumansi Quencher [which personally find a refreshing take on the calamansi – cucumber tandem], Calamansi Soda and Green Mango Cooler.
Another point to look into is the ambiance. The “Old Cebu with a Twist” resonates on the walls and the steps of the new restaurant, thanks to Sheila Solon and the management team. When I went inside the restaurants, it has a very comfortable and friendly ambiance as well as very inviting.
With great attention to minute details, the team has also been keen on selecting what music the diners can hear being piped in the restaurant. They made it a point that diners will be able to experience “DaBest” of new Cebu music by partnering with ArtistKo, a group of musicians from Cebu who will be giving out their best pieces, ensuring them as well that they get compensated for their art. At the heart of it is the original song by FAMAS award-winning songwriter, Lorenzo “Insoy” Ninal, capturing the joy, happiness, togetherness and excitement of tasting “Da Best Gyud”.
Complimenting the new dining experience, the service staff will be sporting new colorful attire, designed and produced by the highly-renowned and sought-after Cebuano designer, Dino Lloren. Talk about pure and raw Cebuano talent and ingenuity in its halls, Rico’s Lechon is definitely a must to try.
How Rico’s Lechon Started
Rico’s Lechon started from the creation of Mr. Enrico “Rico” Dionson, founder and proprietor of Rico’s Lechon. Mr. Dionson started to envision a better future for his family. Being a “Kristo” [taker of bets] in the cockfight arena when he was a meager 15 aged kid, he struggled to make a living for two decades. He knew needed to start out with something. In 1997, he decided to go into the Lechon business. His experimentation during the early days of his business is no bed or roses, so to speak. He definitely made it a point to give contact details to his clients and bring samples for his clients to try. Soon, word got spread around the neighborhood and he was contacted for orders.
Establishing his brand was no easy feat. His very first customer feedback was “Unsa man to imong lechon nga tubig naman lang ang kuwang, dagat naman to” upon finding his lechon was too salty. He promptly replaced it with another one for free and vowed that he would always make sure that each one would be of the best quality. “Da Best Gyud” is not only a mere tagline but it was a vow of the best quality.
His big break in the industry was when then president Joseph Estrada was able to discover his Lechon and made it a personal favorite. Through that, he was able to prepare multiple Lechon in Malacanang Palace. And the rest was history. As someone who takes his business and product seriously, Mr. Rico Dionson continues to pay close attention to his craft by keeping his level of high quality while keeping his feet on the ground. He was the first to introduce the “Spicy Lechon” variety in the Philippines. With that new addition, he was able to sell between 2,000 to 4,000 pieces per month here in Cebu and across the entire archipelago. Competition may be tough but he remained a favorite of politicians, prominent families, and celebrities.
Da Best Gyud!
Using the best ingredients, selling at the best prices, elevating customer satisfaction and maintaining standards in its commissary, its office, and restaurants, these are the continuation of the culture of Rico’s Lechon.
Reflected in its interiors and overall design at its newest site, Rico’s has unveiled its new logo: visible is its mascot, holding a bamboo pole with “silis”. These peppers signify that Rico’s Lechon was the pioneer of the spicy flavored Lechon. Creating a distinction between the word “Rico’s” and “Lechon” gives its diners the chance to taste “Cebu’s Best”.
To achieve this new philosophy, Rico’s has also enlisted experts in the Food Service industry to train its management and staff in leadership, inspiring positive attitude, dynamism, out-of-the-box thinking, meant to create a lasting legacy of excellence and continuous learning in the Rico’s Lechon workplace. Another thing to look forward with this development is the upgrade of its food preparation facility, through a bigger commissary. Rico’s also acquired the services of a Food Technologist, making them abreast with the updates on the food industry, as well as customer service.
New Brand Culture Development
Respect – The company promotes equal growth opportunity to our employees, committed to listening, be open to feedback and treat each other with respect. We honor both internal and external customers by providing utmost respect and understanding.
Integrity – We lead through example and uphold what is right. We practice honesty and transparency and we keep the interest of the company essential to our operations.
Commitment – We value loyalty and dedication towards the company and its customers.
Ownership – We stand for professional courage and hold ourselves responsible for our collective actions and commitments.
On top of these all developments taking place, Rico’s has also set up a new corporate office. Located on One Paseo, Maria Luisa Road along Banilad, this new address is in line with the vision of developing a hassle-free ordering and delivery system with established customer support as well as maintaining licensing agreements and initiating a franchising operation.
To compliment this newly set up office, the Management, and staff shall be wearing brand new corporate attire, designed and produced by the Cebu-based designer, Mary Ty.
With a vibrant and young dynamic team at the helm of the Rico’s Management (Ms. Melanie Grace Dionson-Oyas, General Manager of Rico’s Restaurant Division; Ms. Susan Claire Dionson-Gabuya, General Manager for Corporate Office; Mr. Jeff Walther Oyas, Head of Sales & Marketing, and Mr. Renz Ericson Monet Gabuya, Head of Purchasing) and a formidable team of Consultants, there is no doubt that only ‘DaBest’ things await the loyal patrons and the curious foodies in town.
Its website is also having a makeover to facilitate easy ordering for customers outside of Cebu or the Philippines — customers who would want to have their families and friends to take part of Rico’s Lechon experience. Visit them today at http://www.ricoslechon.com.
For inquiries and orders, and for more information on it’s products and offerings, clients may visit www.facebook.com/RicosLechonOfficial or contact the following numbers: (032) 344-0119 | (032) 239-2830 | 0915-703-3964 | 0915-115-0248.
Here are our snaps during the Grand Launching. Enjoy!