How to Start a Takoyaki Business in the Philippines:

The Filipino palate proudly harbors a collection of culinary cultures from all over the world. From Korea’s Samgyupsal to the Middle Eastern Shawarma, the Pinoy taste bud loves immersing in other people’s heritage by experiencing their food. And today, another food hailing from Japan is cornering the dumpling market in Filipino street food and department stores — Takoyaki!

But there’s more to these round balls than just their exquisite taste. Takoyaki is also an up-and-coming business in the country, and if you want to be the bearer of this oriental dish in your locality, here you’ll learn how to start a Takoyaki business in the Philippines!

What is Takoyaki?

Knowing what Takoyaki is is quintessential to understanding how to start and run a business selling the same. Takoyaki is a popular Japanese street food commonly sold during Festivals. It was invented in 1935 by a man named Tomokichi Endo and has taken Japanese streets by storm.

Etymologically speaking, Takoyaki is derived from two words: “Tako” which means octopus, and “yaki” which means baked or grilled. So takoyaki is made by shaping a batter into a ball filled with diced or whole baby octopus, pickled ginger, green onion, sometimes red shrimp, topped with Takoyaki sauce, mayo, and katsuobushi or dried bonito flakes. Now that that’s out of the way, here are the things to consider when starting a Takoyaki business in the Philippines.

How to Start a Takoyaki Business in the Philippines

1. Do some market investigation

Takoyaki is indeed a rising industry in the Philippines, but how well will you fare if you enter the same ballpark? More than popularity, many other factors influence the profitability of a business in your locality. That’s precisely what market research is for.

Knowing how to do some market investigation will keep you from getting blindsided in case Takoyaki is not profitable in your locality.

Here are some market research questions to guide you:

  • Who is your target audience?

Do people know what Takoyaki is? If not, are they open to trying new food from a foreign culture? Is there an existing demand for Takoyaki?

  • What are your target audience’s spending habits?

Does your market get out of its way to visit Takoyaki places? How much is your market willing to spend on snacks? 

  • What does the market look like?

Is it a small community where home stalls are common? Do you need a physical store? 

  • Who are your competitors?

Are there other nearby Takoyaki places in the locality? If so, do they give competitive pricing? Are there popular snack joints that could compete with your business?

Starting a business is more than just having funds for start-up and knowing what to sell. Business is people-centric, if you don’t know your market, you’re already entering the playing field with a handicap.

2. Evaluate your capital

Per Investopedia’s exposition on capital, it is key to the functioning of any unit, that includes your planned business. You use the capital to pay for the production of goods or services you wish to render to create profits. In this case, the Takoyaki business. The amount of money you currently have will determine how your enterprise starts. The smallest you may need to shell out for a Takoyaki business in the Philippines is around  ₱15,000 (for basic equipment and ingredients) if initial market research suggests that a home stall is profitable.

But this amount may need to be stretched if you start a Takoyaki business in the Philippines with a physical store or partner up with an existing franchise. Plus, there are also other payables to look out for like securing business permits, renting out a spot, and replenishing your stocks.

3. Identify the things you need

If you plan to start on your own, here are the basic things you’ll need to start a Takoyaki business in the Philippines.

Ingredients for making takoyaki:

  • Flour
  • Condiments (salt, pepper, soy sauce, Japanese mayonnaise)
  • Oil
  • Octopus
  • Green onion
  • Red ginger
  • Cabbage
  • Dried Bonito flakes
  • Green seaweed powder

Equipment needed for Takoyaki

  • Takoyaki pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Wire whisk
  • Chopsticks
  • Food brush
  • Spray bottle for oil
  • Sauce dispensers
  • Gas tank

These are the basic equipment needed for a Takoyaki business in the Philippines and may vary depending on how you want to start your enterprise.

4. Search for suppliers

It’s easy enough to source the equipment and ingredients from local grocery stores. So buying supplies is relatively easy if you want to start your own brand. Except for some equipment like the takoyaki pan, seaweed powder, and bonito flakes, you may find them online like in KTown_PH  or NegoPinoy Trading or in some Japanese department stores.

It’s a different story when you plan to become a franchisee of existing big Takoyaki Franchises. Most of the time, they provide the equipment you’ll need for the business on top of the license to sell under their brand name. We’ll look into franchisees in a bit.

5. Determine your pricing strategy

Delicious food, convenience, and good marketing won’t cut it if you want to deliver business success. A reasonable pricing strategy is also an equally important element to consider. Typically, as of this writing, Takoyaki retails for ₱25 a piece or ₱75 for a set of three. But if you want to be more competitive, you should sell cheaper while providing impeccable value and maximizing profits. The only way to do this is through a keen valuation of the costs.

Here is a simple step by step template:

STEP 1: Write the recipe and list down the ingredients with their accurate measurements spent on each serving (say, 3 balls per serving).

For example, oil is ₱30 per 250 ml bottle and you use 20ml per serving.

STEP 2: Calculate the amount spent for each ingredient based on their equivalent measure as shown in the recipe.

For example, if oil is sold at ₱30 per 250 ml bottle and you use 20ml oil for one serving, compute how much is the equivalent of 20ml oil in peso. Multiply ₱30 by 20ml and divide by 250ml = ₱2.4 spent on oil per serving (3 balls).

STEP 3: Add up the total costs of each ingredient used per serving.

STEP 4: Once the total cost is determined, add your mark-up price (that’s reasonable for customers and profitable for you).

6. Finding the best location

The location of your store will be determined by your available capital and the result of your market research. In finding a location for your business, you want to be in an accessible and convenient place for your customers. You may need to rent a commercial business space or buy a location for your Takoyaki store if a home stall is not competitive enough based on your market research. Ideally, open your business in a palace where there are no existing and popular Takoyaki joints so you can have your competition cut out for you unless you have a unique sales proposition that can get you ahead.

7. Come up with a good marketing strategy

Setting up a Takoyaki business in the Philippines is one thing, but it’s good marketing that typically takes it off the ground. Here are some tips to promote your Takoyaki business:

  • Take advantage of social media. Use Facebook to announce your new business, invite friends, or create a page where you can post updates.
  • Register your business with Google so it comes up in search results.
  • Create a local buzz in the community. Don’t underestimate the power of the Filipino “Marites.”

For a more comprehensive guide, read our post about 20 Ways to Promote & Market Your Business in the Philippines.

Takoyaki Suppliers in the Philippines

If you’re looking for supplies for your Takoyaki business in the Philippines, here are some links to get you started.

(Reminder: Make sure to legit check and verify the following suppliers to avoid the possibility of scams that are currently prevalent in the Philippines!)

What are the best Takoyaki Franchise Businesses in the Philippines?

If you’re into purchasing a franchise, instead of building on your own brand of Takoyaki, here are some popular companies you may become a franchisee for. 

(Reminder: It’s important to physically meet with the company, see their operation, and schedule a sit-down before committing to avoid the possibility of scams.) 

Gmail: franchise.kyotako@gmail.com

Number: 09169341640

Gmail: brikostakoyaki@gmail.com 

Number: 09151451898

Number: 09266568243

Gmail: happychaiph@gmail.com 

Gmail: megafoodcart@gmail.com

Number: 8281-4461 / 09258011373 / 09663550060 /  09084546119

Is A Takoyaki Business Profitable in the Philippines?

Takoyaki is an up-and-coming industry in the Philippines and with the countless stores opening nationwide, it’s no doubt that buying into the business can be very profitable provided you conduct in-depth market research, sell incredible value, and employ good marketing practices.

But with many Filipinos looking to turn their fortune upside down, come many scammers lurking around to give unsuspecting business aspirants a run for their money. So be keen when buying a franchise but if you can start your own brand and build it from scratch, that would be better!


Related Posts:

How to Start a Takoyaki Business in the Philippines

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.