Meet Andie Cruz, Keisha Lao, and Mikee Villareal of MadEats!
Throughout the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen multiple businesses close, lose revenue, and lay off workers. Restaurants, in particular, are one of the top industries that were hit the hardest during the pandemic.
Also Read: Meet the Pinay Entrepreneur that Put Butternut Bakery on the Food Map
However, some businesses like MadEats with Co-Founders Andie Cruz, Keisha Lao, and Mikee Villareal, have proven to fit right in and have gracefully adapted to the changing F&B landscape.
For starters, MadEats is a ghost kitchen. This means there are no physical stores to dine in. “Simply what MadEats is is an online delivery only restaurant. So at the core of what we do, we consider ourselves innovators of the food delivery experience,” shares Andie Cruz, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer of MadEats.
Under MadEats are five different food brands namely: Yang Gang, Fried Nice, Chow Time, Dot Coffee, and MadBakes. All of which are tailor-made to not only be delivery-friendly but also satisfy any and every craving throughout the day. Whether you’re going for coffee, looking for something to eat for lunch or dinner, and a dessert to finish, they’ve got it all.
Just like any startup, the trio, Andie Cruz, Keisha Lao, and Mikee Villareal, had faced some challenges in the beginning. Mikee Villareal, CEO and Co-Founder of MadEats shares one example. “Our first initial struggle is, how are we gonna build this business during the pandemic? So it requires a lot of like motivating other people and convincing them virtually that you can come join our team and try to do this crazy thing with us.”
But all the challenges that came with starting a business during the pandemic brought about some learnings too. “I think in my opinion, and I think that they (Andie and Mikee) would agree too, is that we’ve learned how to be two things. So one resilient and connected to being resilient, we learned how to be innovative. Because of all the changes happening and all the uncertainty, we just learned how to quickly iterate and innovate when needed,” shares Keisha Lao, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer.
And the advantageous part of running a ghost kitchen is that the feedback from customers, much like their business model, is instantaneous too. “We really learned the importance of talking to our customers, what they want, what they don’t like, which parts of their experience are troublesome. At the end of the day we just really wanna please our customers give them what they want,” says Lao.
“And just because we have that intimate relationship with our customers, we have time to like ponder and actually, you know, reflect on the things that we actually learn on a day to day basis and then apply that to our business model. So in some way the pandemic has definitely pushed us.”
This March, let’s celebrate the achievements of women all over. To learn more about MadEats and the rest of their journey watch the full interview here.
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