Beauty queen and architect Shamcey Supsup is a familiar name to many people. Besides graduating magna cum laude in B.S Architecture from the University of the Philippines and later emerging as a topnotcher in the 2010 licensure exams, she won the title of Bb. Pilipinas Universe. Her tsunami walk at the Miss Universe stage helped her bag the third runner up prize.
But Shamcey is not one to rest on her laurels. These days, she is busy running and growing her restaurant business together with her husband, Lloyd.
The idea of opening a restaurant started a year after their wedding in 2013. Back then, Shamcey was helping with her mom’s business while her husband was into his family’s. The couple wanted their own enterprise so they could spend more time together. “Right after our wedding siguro honeymoon stage lang, then we started thinking, ano pwede namin gawin na negosyo na magkasama kami?”
Shamcey remembers her hesitation in putting her hard-earned money into a new venture. “When Lloyd said we should get into a business, sabi ko ayoko. We had no prior experience with our own business and I’ve seen a lot of people around me, they weren’t successful sa mga negosyo nila.” But her husband convinced her otherwise.
The two then decided to become restaurateurs as both have a passion for food, settling on an establishment that's Filipino-themed. “Naisip namin, 'Bakit 'di tayo gumawa ng sariling restaurant?' Pero ang gusto namin Filipino food. 'Yun naman talaga ang comfort food namin."
To put up the restaurant, Shamcey and her husband each shelled out P1.5 million from their savings and also took out a loan. Investing all of their savings was scary but it was a gamble the couple was willing to take. “It was a tough decision but...we were ready to take the risk because at that time there were just the two of us. We didn’t have a baby yet so sabi ko mawala man 'yung capital natin kaya pa natin mag-work, mag-ipon.”
In February 2015, the couple opened the first branch of Pedro n’ Coi, an 80-seater restaurant in a mall in Quezon City. Shamcey describes the first branch as a mom-and-pop venture as the couple’s initial capital was insufficient to procure all they needed to run it smoothly. “We started with a small capital, it was really just ipon lang," she shares. '"Di namin na-anticipate na mahal ang restaurant."
They did not have an outside kitchen, as well as enough equipment and manpower, but the couple was determined to make the business work, unafraid of waiting on tables and taking orders. Shamcey and Lloyd also had to find creative solutions to make up for the lack of equipment and kitchen space. “May mga times na sasabihin namin, 'Punta tayo dun sa bahay ni ganito, makiluto tayo ng pata.'”
Their determination and hard work paid off as they now have a total of 12 restaurants, after opening six more branches of Pedro n’ Coi, and four branches of Tambayan ni Pedro, a fast-food version of the original restaurant. They also revived Scott Burger, a classic from the '80s, which has one stall in Bonifacio Global City.
This year, Shamcey and her husband plan to launch five more branches of their chain and open it for franchising. She hopes to have their 50th branch by 2020.
She says venturing into the food industry taught her to communicate and relate with different people—a skill, she admits she wasn’t great at. “Sabi ni Lloyd mataas ang IQ ko pero mababa emotional quotient ko. So, ayun yung tinry ko i-improve.”
Shamcey stresses that being able to communicate well with her staff and customers is one of the key ingredients in running a successful business. “It’s not enough that you have a great product or a great concept--the most important in a business is the people working there."
Her advice to those who would like to open a restaurant is to plan carefully and be flexible. “Before anything you plan first and talk to people who's done it and then do it.”