This Filipino nurse quit her job to run the first solar-powered restaurant

This Filipino nurse quit her job to run the first solar-powered restaurant
PHOTO: Vulcan Post

Being different and standing out are the two major factors that you would consider when you want to start up your own business.

There are numerous restaurants and cafes that are opening up in the metro, and for your business to stand out, you would want to be unique and creative.

Meet Megawatt.

"We are the first solar-powered restaurant," says Joyce Esteban, a 28-year-old nurse turned F&B entrepreneur who thought of something that would catch the attention of the people.

With no experience in business, she pushed herself to set up her own restaurant with the help of her boyfriend and some partners.

TAKING A LEAP OF FAITH

Photo: Vulcan Post

"Before I became a restaurateur I was a registered nurse. I used to work at an operating room way back few years ago then after that I shifted my career to a hotelier, so I worked in a 5-star hotel near the airport. I worked there for 2 and a half years."

She used to be a nurse earning only PHP10,000 monthly, and she knew that this was not enough compensation for the work that she was doing so she tried working for a hotel - but this didn't satisfy her either.

Joyce said that is was boring to have the routine of just going to work and home everyday. She was unhappy and plucked up her courage to start a business instead.

"I was having a hard time juggling my schedule in managing the restaurants and doing a shift schedule."

While working in a hotel, she decided to to give up her job and focus on the opportunities that she had on hand, which were the restaurants.

BUILDING AN ECO-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

Photo: Vulcan Post

"The idea came up when we first visited a power plant in Mindanao. We saw the minimalist structures, and also that they were powered by solar panels. It was from there that we came up with the idea."

Having an energy and power plant-themed restaurant came to her mind after a recent visit to one of the power plant stations in the country where cement-finished flooring, solar panels and bright yellow power generators caught the eye of everyone.

It also sparked off the idea of having a restaurant theme inspired by it.

Taking the concept to a whole new level, they placed emphasis on it being an eco-friendly dining place wherein everything from the cups to utensils are made from recyclable materials.

The restaurant is also powered partially by clean energy provided by the solar panels, and diners can see first-hand how the panels can create a renewable source of energy through sunlight alone.

THE CARWASH STATION STRATEGY

Photo: Vulcan Post

The owner of 21st Element, a leading brand in the car-wash/car-care segment, also certainly paved the way for the decision to open Megawatt's first branch within LG2 Carwash Station's compound.

"If you would notice, our restaurants are situated beside a carwash or above the carwash."

Apart from being a good friend and client of the owner, LG2 Carwash Station and 21st Element's collaboration proved to be a strategic partnership where both parties saw the potential of the concept that can boost each other's foot traffic.

UNIQUE TASTE OF TEX-MEX CUISINE

Photo: Vulcan Post

"People who want to have their cars washed would definitely have to wait, and what better place should they be, other than enjoying a burrito?"

To the car enthusiasts who love to take care of their cars as much as eating great food, get ready to be served by friendly staff in mechanic jumpsuits who will fix you some of the best Tex-Mex meals in town.

"I believe that the most important thing and the hardest is when you get the 'jewels' of your restaurant-which are your staff. Being in the service industry, I believe that the main jewel or a company is the people in it.

She said it was a struggle to look for the people to entrust the business to, and find others who were as passionate about the business as she was.

She also shared that while it was a struggle to train staff, everything would eventually be okay with hard work and patience.

VENTURING OUT

This is not the first restaurant that Joyce and her partners have opened. They also own Red Baron steakhouse which is located in Bambang Manila and they have a newly-opened Chinese-inspired restaurant situated at Dapitan street in Quezon City.

"You have to be motivated, you should know what your goals are. You need to persevere if you really want to do something in your life. Then from there, I think everything would be okay."

Don't hesitate to go and visit their uniquely-themed restaurants and have a taste of what they have to offer!

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