Food

How to Survive a Restaurant Crisis, According to Chef Rolando Laudico

The celebrity chef faced the biggest challenge of his career this year, and lived to tell about it
Comments

Guevarra’s is a buffet restaurant in San Juan owned by popular Chef Rolando Laudico that has been around since March 2013. This year, the establishment faced its toughest challenge yet when a customer alleged she and her family were rushed to the hospital for severe food poisoning after having had dinner there. The customer posted the incident on social media, leading to an investigation that involved local as well as national government authorities. 

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

The San Juan government ordered Guevarra’s to shut down for a few days, until the city’s health department gave the all-clear. The restaurant has since reopened and is back in business. Throughout the ordeal, Laudico and his wife Jackie, who is also a chef, kept mum on the issue. But at an event to launch Guevarra’s Christmas menu, Chef Laudico finally broke his silence.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

“Many agencies, including including the health and sanitation agency of San Juan, inspected us,” he said. “They conducted regular inspections (since the alleged incident) and in the latest one, they gave us an excellent rating. Actually it’s 95 out of 100.”

Laudico says he stands by the food served in his restaurant, and declines to speculate what led to the whole brouhaha.

“Other than the local agency, the Department of Health likewise conducted tests and we passed them all with flying colors,” he said. “Also, we hired three private agencies to conduct their own tests. And all those agencies gave us a pass.”

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

Laudico admitted that the incident had a profound effect on the business, and led him and his team to do even better to serve their clientele. He started by instituting changes in the restaurant, including improving the buffet set-up, installing a “sneeze guard” over the food to prevent “accidental contamination,” and retraining the kitchen and service staff to respond to various workplace issues. They even overhauled the restaurant’s electrical system and established food safety monitors to maintain the cleanliness of the food that they serve. “Even though the DOH (officials) said there was no incidence of cholera, we still made a conscious effort to improve our services,” Laudico said.

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

While most food businesses may opt to keep a low profile so soon after a potentially disastrous incident like the one he went through, Laudico went the other way. His trust and confidence in the food that they offer convinced him and his team to introduce a Christmas menu following the negative publicity. The celebrity chef even invited national media to come and sample the spread of over 30 new dishes inspired by the traditional Filipino noche buena. “These are dishes that I loved eating when I was a kid,” he said. “Imagine going to your lolo and lola’s house and having noche buena there. That’s the exact meal you can experience here at Gueverra’s.”

Despite the setback, Guevarra’s seems to be as popular as ever. Undoubtedly, it’s a sign that Chef Laudico and his Guevarra’s team are doing something right.

 

Comments
View More Articles About:
Recommended Videos
About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
View Other Articles From PJ
Comments
Latest Feed
 
Share
Former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Senator Franklin Drilon weigh in on ABS-CBN franchise extension.
 
Share
 
Share
We help you find the best stocks to invest in.
 
Share
 
Share
This survey took a deep dive into the Philippine startup ecosystem.
 
Share
"I take comfort in the fact that as we speak, Kobe and Gigi are holding hands, walking to the nearest basketball court."
 
Share
Blooming cherry blossoms at Haight's Place in Benguet.
 
Share
The Montblanc Meisterstück Calligraphy Collection highlights the golden age of handwritten self-expression.
 
Share
For Muslims, this order by the MPD, even if it was recalled quickly, triggers feelings of being discriminated against because of their religion.
Load More Articles
Connect With Us