Filipino grill restaurant Gerry’s Grill has started its move of penetrating the upscale market, without scuttling its existing stores that cater to the middle classes.
“We are doing it slowly but surely. But we don’t want to jump into that route instantly,” Francis Villaluz, marketing manager of the restaurant chain, said of Gerry’s Grill’s move toward serving the A market.
He said that the current target markets of the restaurant are socio-economic classes B and C, or the higher middle and working classes.
But the target now extends to the elite, Villaluz said at the media launch of Gerry’s Plus, the restaurant “perfectly fit” for posh communities.
The new store, the first of its kind in the restaurant’s line-up, is nestled at the upscale UP Town Center on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
Plans of building a new store with the similar name is underway, Villaluz said, but noted that the company is not on a rush.
“We want to test the waters first. Here in the area [Katipunan], students here have money to burn,” Villaluz said, referring to students from Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines, and Miriam College.
Asked about the move’s aim, Villaluz said: “We are enhancing. We somehow want to blend in.”
Opening another store before 2015 ends is in the blueprint of Gerry’s Plus, he added, eyeing locations in top business districts and posh residential areas such as Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Greenhills in San Juan, and areas in Makati.
To leverage the restaurant’s aim of charting the upscale route, it has included 25 to 30 new items in the existing menu of Gerry’s Grill.
But opening a brand with a different name is not in the company’s plans.
“We retained the Gerry’s brand because it has become familiar to people. It would hard to put up a new restaurant with a different name. If you invent a new concept, new everything, it will take some time for people to learn [about your restaurant],” he said.
He however said that only the new items would have a minimum adjustment in prices, while those existing will have their prices unchanged.
This is the company’s move to strengthen its niche in the middle class by not abandoning them, Villaluz said.
He also said that existing stores with the original brand of Gerry’s Grill may soon be “enhanced” to Gerry’s Plus.
Gerry’s Grill has more than 70 stores nationwide and five stores outside the Philippines.