This Poblacion Restaurant Is Shutting Down Critics Who Say Their Food Is Too Expensive 

Its customers are coming to its defense.
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Good food is entitled to be a little pricey—especially when you consider the talent and labor that happen behind the scenes. This is the defense of Poblacion’s newest Mexican restaurant Onlypans Taqueria after a number of netizens criticized its pricey menu. 

One of Poblacion’s newest food joints, Onlypans is a small establishment that gathers big crowds eager for the brand’s signature tacos. It’s quickly become a viral sensation online and a go-to post-inuman spot in the heart of Poblacion. However, it seems some customers haven’t responded well to the restaurant’s prices (about P350 per taco), but Onlypans is setting the record straight. 

“Our pricing doesn’t revolve around food costing but also proper labor. We have the right reasons for this. I hope you know that when you eat in our taqueria, you pay for our good food, authentic experience, and most importantly—you pay for our talented and skilled chefs,” said Onlypans in a public post. 

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Onlypans began as a takeout service in late 2021 before transitioning into a brick-and-mortar shop in April 2022. A small F&B business located in Poblacion, Onlypans began as a one-man team before growing into a team of 20. 

“I will say this again and again: If you can respect the medical and legal industries, you can also respect us in the F&B industry,” said the brand. “We are advocates of good governance and positive reinforcement. We are with our people on this. We’re small but our ultimate goal is to be able to give more proper jobs.”

Pricing has long been a point of contention in the F&B industry, particularly given the relatively low wages of F&B workers in the Philippines.  

“Our vision is to elevate the standards in the service industry because we honestly deserve better than what is being given by most of the capitalist food groups in the country. We want to compensate and give the best benefits to our team because that’s hard work. Kitchen work is difficult and should be honored all the time,” explained Onlypans. 

“So the next time you’re going to complain, you also make sure you do it constructively because small businesses like us are always willing to improve and learn. Think about us like how we think about you. We value you so much and we hope you do too.” 

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Onlypans is just one of many Filipino small businesses that struggle with fair pricing and customer demand. After Onlypans’ post, a number of its patrons came out online in defense of the brand, applauding them for taking a stand for its workers. Some noted that the restaurant’s large servings more than made up for the cost, while others pointed out that not everyone is part of their target market. 

Although Onlypans faced criticism, the restaurant has only gained more support—and free publicity—for speaking out. And more importantly, it’s raised the discussion of fair (and non-exploitative) pricing to the public. Because as we should all remember, behind every Instagrammable food photo are the uncredited chefs and staff that made it happen. 

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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