A mom-and-pop burger and grille business founded during the pandemic not only survived its baptism of fire but has branched and grown into a restaurant that leaves customers wanting for more.
From “BBQ Burgers, Wings and More!” to its present slogan “Delight in Every Bite”, Flamin’ Grill has been enticing locals with its mouthwatering meat cuts, smoky fragrances, and welcoming atmosphere.
Jun Rex and Geraldine Bungabong, who had been managing the Pria events place in Maslog, Sibulan, took on the challenge of running their friends’ restaurant business in 2021.
“Our friends, who were the previous owners of Flamin’ Grill, saw how we managed our small seaside cafe in The Praia, which eventually became a Bed and Breakfast. They eventually offered the restaurant to us,” Bungabong said.
The offer came at a time when they were considering the family’s relocation to Manila, so he could pursue his career as an Electronics and Communications Engineer. However, they could not leave Dumaguete as Geraldine’s mother was terminally ill.
With the circumstances that the Bungabong faced, they took stock of what they had in order to run a business.
“We had the house, The Praia, so we first opened it for events and eventually offered it for Airbnb since there were people who were looking for a place to stay, especially for those who were using the place for their events, and later, opened a small cafe,” he said.
Flamin’ Grill’s beginnings with the Bungabong couple was initially confined to deliveries because din-ins were not yet allowed at that time.
“The challenge of the delivery service is how to bring the dine-in experience to the comfort of the customer’s homes. You have to make sure that the processes are in place to maintain the quality of the food, because if we couldn’t preserve the consistency, we could lose the opportunity of having a repeat customer,” Junrex said.
As the restaurant business grew, Bungabong tweaked the menu to make it more attuned to their customers’ habits.
“Filipinos wouldn’t pair grilled food with pasta, so we removed pasta from the menu,” he said.
Flamin’ Grill promotes its bestseller meal, the classic BBQ ribs, with a BOGO (buy one, get one) promo every first Thursday of the month.
“Our Classic BBQ ribs are what people always go for when they visit the restaurant, but we figured out that most of the Dumagueteños have no idea about it,” he said.
The restaurant also released two other promos for the month of July, particularly Family Sunday promo with 20% off on all items when ordering one (1) classic BBQ ribs, and the Happy Hour promo, also with 20% off on all items from Monday to Friday, 2 to 5 PM.
“Since day one, we have planned for Flamin’ Grill is become a franchise. We want to bring the brand outside of Dumaguete,” he added.
Customers keep coming to Flaming Grill especially on “Family Day”—Sundays– and its dining experience stands out and promotes the art of grilling.
“We want our customers to enter a world where flavors dance on their palates and every meal leaves them seeking more the moment they step inside the restaurant,” Geraldine said.