How to Start a Samgyupsal Business in the Philippines:

Filipinos have undoubtedly fallen in love with the rich flavors of Korean barbecue. Whether you are an avid KDrama fan or not, chances are you have feasted your eyes on the delicious Korean food that has successfully penetrated the Philippine Market – samgyupsal or samgyeopsal. With various KBBQ restaurants getting swarmed by enthusiasts, it’s no wonder why many are wanting to start their own samgyupsal restaurant.

So in this guide, we’ll be sharing the steps on how to start a samgyupsal business in the Philippines, the pros and cons, a list of suppliers, and some helpful tips when starting out this popular Korean barbecue restaurant.

What is Samgyupsal/Samgyeopsal?

Samgyupsal or samgyeopsal is a popular dish from Korea that consists of thick slices of meat. Samgyeopsal actually translates to grilled pork belly. Meat that has been grilled is usually eaten with grilled onions or garlic and wrapped in fresh lettuce or perilla leaves. Side sauces include ssamjang (soy bean paste and chili gochujang) and gireumjang (sesame oil, salt, and pepper).

Filipinos’ love for meat is another reason why this eat-all-you-can Korean barbecue restaurant is very popular. Plus, offering it at a reasonably low price and in unlimited servings adds to its overall appeal.

How to Start a Samgyupsal Business in the Philippines

According to Course Hero, when Filipino diners were asked about their current favorite choice of food, one recurring answer was samgyeopsal, sometimes shortened to “samgyup.” Thus, samgyupsal continues to be part of the top lists of local food trends in the Philippines for the long term.

In 2018, samgyupsal in the Philippines became very popular as many restaurants that have been established offered this eat-all-you-can concept. With prices that usually range between PHP 500 to PHP 2,000 per person coupled with good interior designs, it is no surprise why many Filipinos are enjoying it.

1. Conduct a market research

One thing you should know is that most Filipinos prefer to consume ready-to-eat meals because of their time-strapped lifestyles and fast-paced world. Because of such hectic schedules, they tend to eat “fast foods” that satisfy their cravings and hunger pangs at an affordable price. And since Samgyupsal became very popular and is served with many different side dishes at cheap prices, Filipinos are loving it up until this day.

For starters, here are some elements at play that will influence your business’ success:

  • Who are your customers? 

Do most people in your area know what samgyupsal is? If not, do you think they’d be interested in trying out food from a foreign culture?

  • What is the market like? 

Is there an existing demand for samgyupsal-lovers? Are you located near corporate offices or well-known fast food joints? Will a home delivery through various shipping couriers work? 

  • Who are your competitors? 

Are there nearby samgyupsal restaurants near your chosen area? How much do they charge per person? What are their existing promos or effective marketing strategies to get customers flocking to their diners?

Knowing your target market will remove the fog of confusion if a samgyupsal business will be profitable in your chosen area and will keep you from blindly pursuing an entrepreneurial venture.

2. Evaluate Your Capital

The next step on how to start a samgyupsal business in the Philippines is evaluating how much you’ll need. Depending on the outcome of your market research, you may either need to stretch your budget or spend as little yet to still earn competitively.

As a rough estimate, you may need to shell out around Php 200,000.00 which includes the ingredients (meat products and side dishes), basic kitchen utensils, grill pan and stove, marketing and advertisements, and allowance for experiments and testing the business plan. This amount is applicable if you choose a samgyupsal home delivery business plan similar to Samgyupsal sa Bahay. Else, you would still need to add rental costs and paying fees for obtaining the required documents and business permits.

3. Identify the things you need

Here are some of the ingredients and equipment you’ll be needing but are not limited to the following:

  • Rice
  • Pork (Php 80 to Php 250; 400g to 500g)
  • Chicken (Php 80 to Php 250; 400g to 500g)
  • Beef (Php 80 to Php 250; 400g to 500g)
  • Lettuce
  • Braised Tofu
  • Korean egg
  • garlic
  • Kimchi
  • Potato marbles
  • Grill pan (starts at Php 200, depending on size)
  • Butane (Php 30 to Php 65 per bottle)
  • Stove
  • Meat slicer (can range from Php 12k to Php 50k depending on the size)

There are also many different side dishes in line, some of these are:

  • Oi Muchim (Spicy Cucumber Salad)
  • Hobak Bokkeum (Stir-fried Zucchini)
  • Gaji Namul (Steamed Eggplants)
  • Sukju Namul (Seasoned Bean Sprouts)
  • Oi Bokkeum (Stir-fried Cucumbers)
  • Watercress Namul
  • Mu Saengchae (Spicy Radish Salad)
  • Gamja Jorim (Braised Potatoes).

Of course, you need to learn how to price your samgyupsal effectively. To keep customers coming back, your product should be budget-friendly for your target market while still making a profit for you and your business. If you’re in need of some good food pricing strategies, here’s our guide on How to Compute & Price Food Products (w/ example) Philippines.

Samgyupsal suppliers in the Philippines

  • Jia’s Samgyupsal Meat Supplier: Known as a one-stop-shop for Korean food cravings, they offer samgyupsal meats (plain or marinated), side dishes, sauces, dips, grill pan, stove, butane, as well as ramen and noodles.
  • AB FROZEN FOOD TRADING: Located in Makati, their products range from different cuts and quantities of flavored beef, pork, and bulgogi, to all sorts of in-demand Korean products such as ramen, seaweed, and soju.
  • Samgyupsal Direct Supplier: A Facebook group that welcomes all resellers and direct suppliers of Samgyupsal and Korean food. You can find sellers of butane and meat slicing machines here too.
  • ALFA: As a member of several meat organizations in the Philippines, ALFA offers a variety of samgyupsal pork as well as belly fat trimmings.
How to Start a Samgyupsal Business in the Philippines

Advantages and Disadvantages of starting a Samgyupsal Business in the Philippines


  • Filipinos’ love for pork, beef, and chicken is one reason why thIs business is very popular and offering it as an eat-all-you-can at a reasonably low price will make them come back again and again.
  • You can save money from, among other things, by not having to hire a complete waitstaff since you will let customers choose and cook their own food.
  • Can be in a home delivery service where customers will buy the ingredients from you and will rent the pan grill and stove.
  • With the right marketing strategies, negotiations with suppliers and inventory handling, this type of business can yield a high profit. For tested and proven strategies, check out our list of 20 Ways to Promote & Market Your Business in the Philippines


  • Ingredients are those that easily expire. Handling the inventory wisely is a must to avoid wasting stocks.
  • Can be easily copied and has similarities with other competitors
  • Samgyupsal can be one of those trends that might die down after a few months or years if you don’t diversify
  • The series of samgyupsal franchises give you more rivals on getting customers to your store.

Tips When Starting a Samgyupsal Business in the Philippines


Location is a crucial part of business planning, but with the Philippine market slowly becoming saturated with Korean barbeque restaurants, choosing the right location to establish your store is important. It’s recommended to do a SWOT analysis too when choosing your targeted area.


Install as many ventilation devices as you deem necessary. Air conditioners and electric fans are needed to cool down the restaurant specifically during peak hours when all the grilling pans are being used.


You need to find a supplier that will provide affordable products without sacrificing quality as offering low prices to your customers is the main competition with similar businesses. Also, make sure to have more than one supplier handy so just in case your primary supplier fails to comply with your order, you have the second supplier as a backup.

Side dishes

While pork and beef are the highlights of Korean barbeque restaurants, the side dishes are also important. Filipinos want to get their money’s worth, and if they see that they will get a heaping serving of meat and sumptuous side dishes, they will naturally flock to your place. You may want to conduct a survey, whether online or face-to-face, about the top five side dishes your target market wants and initially, have those in your menu. Once your business grows, you may opt to offer more varieties of side dishes.


Come up with ways on how to stand out. As one Reddit commenter shares, perhaps you would want to use charcoal instead or opt for home delivery of both the meat products and the equipment so in case another pandemic lockdown arises, your business can run remotely.


As a rule of thumb, the cost of ingredients should not exceed 30% of your selling price. For example, if your selling price is Php 100.00, the cost of ingredients should not exceed Php 30.00.

Cutting down on costs

Charging a fixed amount for leftovers is one strategy to keep costs low. This gives the customers the initiative to avoid food waste out of fear of paying more. Another way is by ordering ingredients, especially meats, in bulk to help defray costs.

As Cyrus Cruz, strategist and restaurant consultant, shares, “The two most important elements to consider when opening an all-you-can-eat restaurant are the capacity of the dining room and the number of possible seat turnovers per meal. For example, a table of four in a successful buffet restaurant must turn over at least two times per meal”

Is a Samgyupsal Business profitable in the Philippines?

Some have acknowledged that they have gotten their ROI in a matter of 3 months. Of course, while that is still a case-to-case basis, starting a samgyupsal business in the Philippines is not a super complicated one to operate as there are tons of suppliers and a booming market of samgyup enthusiasts.

With overwhelming long lines and a high demand from groups of people who want to have their much-needed Korean barbecue meal as much as they can, consider this ideal for the business: many will still choose samgyupsal when you ask them where they want to eat.

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How to Start a Samgyupsal 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.