How far can you go to save your business? We all want to know how some businesses thrive and survive during this pandemic.

Due to the restrictions and limitations, and with consumers staying home because of the virus, even food lovers can’t weather the food service sector’s revenue for 2021.

 1

Photo source: Nikkei Asia

Even private company owners who love to conduct special occasions and gatherings in hotels and restaurants, including businessmen who are frequent in these places have also preferred to conduct meetings and conventions online. This reality has greatly contributed to the distress of the food service sector.

According to Statista Research Department (2021), food service sector revenue in the Philippines was projected to hit all time low to USD7.4B orP377.78B from USD8.54B or P436B (13.5%) in 2020 and USD15.19B or P775.48B (51.28%), half of the 2019 revenue.

Even hotel and restaurant giants and big time entrepreneurs have experienced massive losses. How much more to the Small and medium-size entrepreneurs? Despite this, there are food service entrepreneurs who continuously look for solutions and adopt some innovations to sustain their businesses.

A research study in Iligan City, Northern Mindanao, by the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) member of Division of Social Sciences, Dr. Pamela F. Resurreccion, investigates how entrepreneurs of Iligan City’s food and beverage service activities industry adapted their business models for purposes of business continuity during this time of the COVID-19.

According to Resurreccion the food service sector was among those badly hit by the pandemic.

The sector was already suffering with decreases in revenue opportunities due to post-Marawi siege constraints in the business environment, according to the President of Iligan Hotels, Resorts, and Restaurants Associaion, Engr. Glenn Villacin (2021).

“There has been no study yet to examine the effect of the pandemic on the number of formal businesses in the city,” Resurreccion said.

She added that it is important to understand the experiences of the entrepreneurs, specifically those belonging to the food and beverage service industry, so that appropriate support programs and interventions may be designed to help them better cope with challenges posed by the pandemic.

According to her, the survival of the small upstream players in its value delivery network is what also intensifies the push for potential support to the local food service.

“These upstream players, often belonging to the informal sector, depend on derived demand from restaurants and other food service establishments,” Resurrecion said.

2

This NRCP study will contribute to entrepreneurship literature in the context of a turbulent business environment brought about by a health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.

The results of her study, Assessing Innovation Propensity of Entrepreneurs in the Food Service Sector in Iligan City: Challenges and Opportunities Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, will be shown during the NRCP’s webinar, Kapakanan ng Tao sa Oras ng Pandemiya-COVID (KTOP-COVID), on January 17, 2022, 10am-12nn, via online.

This webinar will feature the experiences of and the extent of innovation done by the local food and beverage service entrepreneurs in Iligan City during this time of the pandemic. It will present how entrepreneurs adapted their business models for the purpose of business continuity. It will likewise present whether there are similarities or differences in the way male and female entrepreneurs implemented innovations in their business models, and the assessment of innovation propensity of local food service entrepreneurs in a pandemic context.

Dr. Resurreccion is currently a Professor VI at the Department of Marketing, College of Business Administration and Accountancy, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology.