Spread your wings and fry!
For Mark Gerald Ong, or OMG as he prefers to be called, inspiration came along with business partners Jeff Sy and Jefferson Uy, while they were on a holiday in South Korea. The mainstay brand 24 Chicken was conceived.
The co-owners noted that fried chicken was perfectly seasoned, crunchy and crispy, extremely popular, and most of all, affordable
And thus, they explored this feasible idea, immediately went into action, and the very first branch was born in 2017 along Leon Guinto Street, competing with mainstay restaurants that ply Vito Cruz and Taft Avenue.
With comparably lower costs of domestic overhead and local ingredients, the gentlemen wished to revolutionize the world of fried chicken in the Philippines.
“We want everyone to savor what good-tasting fried chicken should be, with a reasonable price.
This can only be done not by cutting costs through below standard ingredients and by not overpricing our menu. We just need to meet the demands of our product,” said OMG, a De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Export Management alumnus and now president of Qinghua Foods Corp.
We want everyone to savor what good-tasting fried chicken should be, with a reasonable price.
The very first outlet of what was soon-to-be a sought-after franchise quickly found favor among the student population of the area. By the irreplaceable influence of word-of-mouth, the viral power of social media, and ever-so-loyal patrons, the grassroots business has since expanded to several establishments all over Metro Manila. For their provincial reach, they tapped Davao. In fact, several other Korean fried chicken competitors have likewise been spawned due to their accomplishment.
With the ongoing lockdowns due to the pandemic, the chicken brand collectively admits it has faced some difficulties.
“The most challenging part of the pandemic is not the loss of sales, as our supportive customers are still ordering take-away. The real challenge for us is how to safeguard our staff during this pandemic,” the entrepreneur says.
“We made sure they would be safe by strictly following the standard health and safety protocols. If we felt that we were exposing our crew and customers, we are ready to close our branches,” OMG reveals.
Most of all, he gave them the option to not work if they felt unsafe and provided assistance through financial aid.
Not one to give up easily, OMG had one advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Action is needed. If not, everything is simply a hallucination.”