Sunday, May 06, 2007

(Part 3, Boracay series)

Although it is officially a restaurant which is open 24 hours, the words "Jonah's" and "fruitshakes" are pretty much synonymous with each other in Boracay. Jonah's boasts of the "best fruitshakes in the island", and everyone pretty much agrees this is indeed the case.

Such is its popularity that during mid-afternoons, the restaurant is packed with beachgoers in various degrees of undress, all patiently enduring the sweltering heat and humidity while waiting for their name(s) to be called. Expect to wait for up to 30 min. to get your fruitshake.

This board below shows the variety of fruitshake flavors available at Jonah's:

Which raises a hypothetical question, what if Jonah drank too much beer one late afternoon (say, 6 bottles of San Mig Light) and had a vivid dream involving the idea of expanding his fruitshake empire? Would it take off in other parts of our archipelago?

Our group had some rather fierce discussions about this. Someone opined Jonah's should expand to other beach areas such as Panglao Island in Bohol, while another voice said they could put up an outlet in Pansol, Laguna or perhaps Subic. Alternatively, would Jonah's make it big in Metro Manila (in the form of a kiosk in a shopping mall perhaps)?

Using the classic 4Ps of Marketing as our basic analytical framework, what insights can we cull to help the hypothetical Jonah in answering his hypothetical question?

Product - As we saw from the board above, Jonah's has a very wide variety of shakes, from the regular fruit combinations (Mango Papaya) to the more unconventional (Banana Choco Peanut, anyone?). Thus, one can go there everyday and find something one hasn't tried yet.

On the debit side, the ingredients that go into these shakes are hardly a secret. Thus, one would think it is quite easy for any upstart competitor to duplicate Jonah's combinations, and poor Jonah would not have any unique recipe at all.

Price - Basic fruit combinations (say, Mango Papaya shake) are priced at PHP82 for a 500 ml takeout bottle. A rather extreme exception is the Strawberry shake, which goes for PHP165. Even if you assume the strawberries are flown in fresh from La Trinidad. . .PHP165 for a fruitshake? Seriously?

By way of comparison, a typical Fruit Magic or Big Chill shake is something like PHP45 (12 oz) and PHP75 (22 oz).

If Jonah's opened in Metro Manila, would it be able to price its shakes at a premium? (I.e. would you pay more for a Jonah's shake since a) you tried it before in Bora and liked it a lot; b) you haven't been to Bora, but want to feel like you've been there; c) since it's famous in Bora, it must be better than other fruitshake brands; and d) all of the above?) Maybe, or maybe not.

Place - Jonah's beachfront location undoubtedly helps in pulling in the crowd. But so does the fact that it doesn't really have a clear-cut, well-known competitor in Boracay.

If Jonah's were transplanted to another setting where it had to compete with other fruitshake stands, what would the outcome be? Should it decide to target other beach areas such as Panglao, Bohol or Mactan, Cebu, etc., where the hot weather generates a natural demand for its products?

Promo - As far as we know, Jonah's does not undertake any promotional activity. It basically relies on the positive word-of-mouth generated over the years.

If it does expand elsewhere, it would have to make a promotional push. But this should not be a major problem, as it could capitalize on its fame and reputation in Boracay. The natural tagline could be something like, "Boracay's best and/or most famous milkshakes, now here in _______________!!!"

If you want to hear my two cents' worth of opinion, i'd say the safest bet for our dear chap Jonah is to open a branch on the beachfront, in between Stations 2 and 3. This way, it captures the market of those people who don't want to walk all the way to Station 1; also, it will still be in home territory, and no marketing effort would really be needed.

Whew, all this thinking is frying my brain. . .now, where the hell is that Mango Lemon Vanilla Strawberry Avocado shake i ordered 2 hours ago??

(Jonah's is located on the White Beach front, Station 1 area)


Rizza said...

Recipe for Banana Choco Peanut shake: banana (obviously), peanut butter (Lily's forever), milk (fullcream, lowfat, nonfat, skim, chocolate?), pineapple juice (seriously), chocnut (optional), and ice (of course). Please anyone let me (or Peter) know if the recipe works :)

Anonymous said...

Hey GUS,

Tests of patience come in so many different forms ah!
Anyway, don't think too hard when you're having fun. :)

Vote wisely!

jencc said...

heeey, well, i cannot relate. guess what? i've never been to bora. =(

i'd love to try their shakes when i get there, though...soon!

Ramon Melchor said...

Try the new Il Pirata Italian Restaurant in Eastwood City. They serve the most authentic Italian food (at Italianni's prices thereabouts). Owner Gianni usually goes from table to table to check on his patrons. Do try the Tiramisu and the Mango Cream Cake. Who knows? You might even meet Captain Jack Sparrow in the restaurant. (I wouldn't mind meeting Keira Knightley.)

Yes, Boracay is nice, but as they say "the secret is out of the bag" already. No more "scarcity value". Check out Pearl Farm in Davao, Maribago and Alegre resorts in Mactan, Cebu (if you made a lot of money from the stock market, go ahead and stay at the Shang in Mactan for $300 a night.)

carlotta said...

i dunno about other people, but i don't mind the walk from station 2 to 1. =)

jao said...

Just got back from Boracay. Jonah's still has the best shakes in Boracay. I'm still figuring out how their shakes have this very smooth consistency even a day after. There must be a secret powdery ingredient somewhere in there.