Jun Abelardo: Captain of the Ship

As president of the largest food concessionaire in the Philippines, Jun Abelardo’s meticulous and strategic nature tides him over his endeavors, be it in business or at home.

This story appeared in the Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue.

The catering and concessionaire business is not for the faint of heart. Aside from being constantly on your toes during events, there’s the frenzied prepwork that goes into making the event successful. The menu must be on-point, dishes safely transported, the flow, setup, and schedule meticulously planned. Operating a successful catering business requires someone with a high attention to detail and a crazy desire for life in the fast lane.

Ricardo “Jun” Abelardo is one of those people. As the President of Kitchen City—the largest food concessionaire in the Philippines—he knows how to keep a tight ship running, even as the business expands. “We are looking at fueling or feeding the workforce of the Philippines,” he says, talking about Kitchen City’s current direction.

“We are not stopping at canteens, we are not stopping at catering, we are not stopping at frozen food…[we want] any way we can reach the workforce of this land, to give them affordable and value-for-money food.”

Having foresight is key

Driving towards this grand expansion, Jun isn’t pulling any punches. Kitchen City currently operates on three business models—canteens, catering, and frozen food. With such a broad operation, there’s always the threat of being spread so thin that it affects your products. But with his vast experience in the food business, Jun knows how quickly things can go wrong—and just as much, how to prepare for when it happens.

“When we took over this business and had this vision of expanding it, we made sure all our people understand the responsibility of being in this type of business,” he shares. “It is our permit to operate.”

On top of this is food safety, which he notes is influenced by the culture, activities, and handling being done within the company. “In the entire chain of activity, you are at risk,” Jun explains. For him, those who decide to get into the food business should then be keenly aware of food safety first—above all else.

Jun also stresses the need to constantly evolve. Especially when it comes to delivering service to the customers—even with Kitchen City’s well-decorated clientele, he stresses how as a company, they’ve put a premium on constantly improving how they do things, so they can give their customers a better experience.

Steering two ships in the right direction

And it’s this commitment to getting things done that pervades Jun’s professional and personal life. While he notes that the household is touted as the smallest unit of the community, he also knows that it isn’t necessarily free of the usual uncertainties and ever-changing needs that pervade enterprises. “You think because it is smaller, it is easy to handle. It is not,” Jun notes. “The magnitude may not be the same, but the needs and its evolution are similar.”

What makes running the business and running a household similar, then? Simple: you need to plan ahead. In Jun’s case, he and his wife take equally crucial roles in making sure this happens. “My wife does the implementation, I do the strategy and planning,” he shares. “What needs to be done, planning accordingly in terms of timing, budget, and all that stuff.”

Nonetheless, one could say Jun’s strong work ethic and acumen are the balancing forces that bring the two worlds together. Just as companies need clear targets to thrive, so does a family. “All organizations should understand the target, so everything they do goes to attaining it,” he notes.

While it might seem too forthcoming to some, it’s something his family understands. His sons, for instance, are aware of the ins and outs of his business. And at the very least, they have something to anchor onto when things get rough—the fortitude of their father. 

To read the full article, grab a copy of Modern Parenting Mother’s Day and Father’s Day May 2024 issue —available on Download the e-Magazine from Readly or Press Reader for more exclusive features and stories.





Shoot Coordination ANTHONY MENDOZA



More about parents who thrive in the kitchen?

Tricia Locsin-Cheung: Adapting to Changes as a Food Entrepreneur

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Marvin Agustin Opens Up About Cooking Up a Legacy

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