MANILA — Just three years since they launched their initial food venture Pedro 'N Coi, beauty queen Shamcey Supsup and her husband Lloyd Lee are shaping up to be a major force in the local restaurant scene.
After debuting the Pinoy pop culture-themed Pedro 'N Coi at Fisher Mall in Quezon City in 2015, the couple brought this colorful restaurant to Greenhills and Resorts World Manila, where they had their third anniversary bash just last week.
They have also created a fast-food version called Tambayan ni Pedro, which already has four branches (including one in General Santos City), with four more set to open this year.
Amid this rapid expansion, the couple still managed to revive an old brand which has a special spot in Lee's heart — and stomach.
Scott Burger was started back in 1985 by Lee's uncle, Gregory Ty. Having worked in the food industry in the US, Ty decided to open a burger shop when he returned to the Philippines. Named after his eldest son, Scott Burger opened its first outlet in España, Manila and grew steadily. But in 1991, it started offering buy-one-take-one burgers, sealing its place in Pinoy pop history.
This tack has since been used by many upstart food entrepreneurs, including Angel's Burger, which continues to offer buy-one-take-one burgers to this day. "Scott started everything," Lee told ABS-CBN News at the recently opened Scott Burger outlet near the cinemas of Uptown Mall in Taguig.
Lee practically grew up eating Scott burgers since his mother owned several outlets located in LRT 1 stations.
"'Yan 'yung iniikutan ko nung bata ako. Every store ng mama ko, kukuha ako ng one or two sets of buy-one-take-one burgers. By the time I get to the next store, ubos na 'yung apat, so kukuha na uli ako. I was a very fat kid," he recalled. "It brings back a lot of memories for me, and this is one of the brands na nasa bucket list."
Lee was given a chance to revive the brand when they were offered a space at Uptown Mall. "They wanted the Pedro 'N Coi DNA, but then since it's near the cinema, it had to be something easy to grab. So hamburger," he explained.
But then, Uptown wanted a design similar to Pedro 'N Coi, which used replicas of the jeepney and the Love Bus as focal points.
So they decided to build a replica of an LRT train complete with the names of the stations where the Lees had outlets. "'Yun talaga 'yung very nostalgic," he said.
But Lee is not just counting on "the old school folks" who are familiar with Scott Burger. They know they also have to "cater to the much complex and exquisite taste of the new generation."
For one, they tweaked the buy-one-take-one offer and took it to the next level: the burgers now go "cheaper by the box."
Customers who buy a box of six burgers get another box of six burgers for free.
Burger geeks are immediately reminded of the hamburger box of the American chain White Castle. Supsup clarified: "Hindi naman siya slider. Gusto namin 'yung size niya is still parang regular burger. Isa or dalawa, busog ka na, then bring it home and share with your family."
Lee insists that they bring back the pure beef patty. In fact, they even added a little bit of Wagyu beef into the mix. "We came up with the costing and pumasok naman," Lee said. A solo patty of the Original Scott Burger costs only P65 (P420 for the box), while the double patty is priced at P95 (P600 for the box).
They also got chef Sharwin Tee to help them come up with more menu items.
Apart from the Original Scott Burger, they also have premium burgers with five different flavors (P75 for solo, P105 for double; also available by the box). One particular flavor, the Good Morning Burger, features salted egg salad.
In keeping with the American diner concept, they have also added chicken wings to the menu (P195 for six pieces; P375 for 12 pieces) in six different flavors, including one with Hoisin sauce.
And since they cater to the moviegoing crowd, they also serve chips (P170) in sour cream and BBQ flavors.
There are also several Bundles of Joy combos for groups and families.
As early as now, Lee is already getting inquiries for a stall concept for Scott Burger, much like the one his family had in the LRT stations. "We're still continuously exploring," he said, adding that even if Scott Burger is an old brand, it is still a "work in progress."
Supsup added that with three brands, it's not easy to expand all of them at the same time. "This one, we really just want to launch it first and study the market, study the menu," she said.
"Parang ganoon din naman sa Pedro 'N Coi. When we first opened, it took us a year to really find the perfect blend of food choices and the service. Sa experience namin, talagang one year before you'll know ito 'yung market natin, ito 'yung dapat locations natin, these are the sizes of our stores," she continued.
"We just really wanted to revive the brand, but we're still studying it continually. I think sa three brands namin, we feel like we've perfected the Tambayan ni Pedro, in a sense that it's faster to construct, faster to expand. We're going to be open for franchise this year, kaya naka-focus kami sa expansion nun."