The Renegade: Johnny Que

Johnny Que is the Renegade of Waflle Time, Coffee Break, etc.

Johnny Que recalls how a flash of nostalgia triggered a similar moment of discovery. Already a successful architect, he came upon “the original Iloilo Supermart waffle machine” in one of his trips through the family business warehouse. “It was old and dusty, but still in working order – and it got me thinking back to the days when fresh hot cheese and hotdog waffles used to be sold everywhere in Iloilo. So I decided to utilize this piece of old technology, throw some new ideas into the mix, and take a chance.”

The risk proved to be well worth the effort. Johnny’s Waffle Time franchise has grown from a small, solitary kiosk into a major South East Asia-wide enterprise with over 400 outlets strong, and has earned him accolades from GoNegosyo and Entrepreneur magazine. “Even I was overwhelmed at the sudden surge,” admits Johnny. We didn’t plan this. But the success of Waffle Time further awakened the drive to help evolve the Ilonggo lifestyle, and that led us to introduce even more food concepts to the market.

Johnny Que
Johnny Que | Photo Scanned from Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)

Even the staunchest of skeptics were awed as Johnny slowly began to open restaurant after restaurant, each with its unique innovation on a tried-and-tested formula. Coffee Break made its mark as Iloilo’s choice for a quick caffeine fix; Green Mango brought a hip, modern vibe to budget meals, and the list goes on.

To date, Johnny owns no less than seven different establishments within the Avenue strip in the city’s burgeoning Smallville district, offering distinct choices that range from Pares to prime rib; grissini to gelato. And he has no plans of slowing down. “There is potential opportunity everywhere,” he asserts. The challenge is in finding the right amount of value to add to make it work for the market – without compromising your standards. It’s a delicate balance, but if you can find a way to please both the customers and your passion, you’ve got it made.”

Source: Ilonggo Initiatives published by Iloilo Business Club (2011)

shemaegomez

Sheila is a legal editor and a digital marketing enthusiast. She is a kdrama fan, a dog person and a certified foodie!

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