Sisig Teriyaki was created by Lenmar Gonzales, a self-taught home cook who had a stint in Japan and was able to explore and experience authentic Japanese foods/flavors.

Lenmar Gonzales

Lenmar worked for a Japanese firm company in Cebu for ten years. On his visit to the foreign country in 2017 for official business, little did he know that his side trips would make him bring home taste and fortune.

He was eating one time at a restaurant selling a 650-Yen (Php 300) rice bowl called gyudon. This consisted of Japan’s famous teriyaki, a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. The dish was savored with beef. He thought of doing the same thing and bring this perception to the Philippines.

His desire to come up with a ‘JaPinoy’ comfort street food that focused on flavor, convenience, and affordability fulfilled the business concept to combine the Filipino Sisig with a Japanese teriyaki flavor profile.

Sisig Teriyaki was first offered on their garage in 2017, and invited friends and families to try if it passes the discriminating tastes of the Cebuanos. The dish was an instant hit that even people from other places lined up to the garage just to try the tasteful dish.

In order to better serve the customers, Lenmar had to make it available to the consuming public. 

The first take-out stall was established in August 2018 across a university in Cebu City, catering to college students and busy professionals who had limited break time to have quick lunch or dinner. 

The first few months of the business was stagnant as Lenmar had yet to establish their name and product to the community. It seemed foreign to the vicinity back then where students prefer the infamous pungko-pungko.

One time, he got an invitation from a student to the university’s welcoming program activity. Sisig Teriyaki was stationed surrounding other known food brands. Nevertheless, his unique dish enticed the students, not to mention it was affordable.

Through word of mouth, customers seemed to flock to their sidewalk stall. After eight months, a rental space was made available in the area which boosted the business. The take-out and one-dish-menu stall turned into a Hole-in-the-Wall restaurant with a 20-25 seating capacity. 

Lenmar started to attend franchising seminars in hopes of widening his market. In 2019, he enrolled himself to DTI’s Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program. This has allowed him to establish his business position and improved his business plan.

Sisig Teriyaki

A mentor once labeled Sisig Teriyaki as “Little McDonalds” and this has fueled him to do well and sizzle to date.

In 2020, Sisig Teriyaki expanded its second branch, which is a take-out corner partnered with e-Commerce platforms to include Food Panda and Grab Food.

However, during the pandemic, Lenmar decided to pivot the business by reaching out to aspiring entrepreneurs around Cebu. This has provided emerging online sellers with income despite the inability to go out to work. He offered an affordable package for home channel and store channel distribution to sell Sisig Teriyaki to their respective communities. Currently, Sisig Teriyaki has 15 active store channels.

On the much lighter side, Lenmar has provided 3,000 cups of rice bowls to hospitals and frontliners. He has also partnered with his peers in the KMMe program to provide free webinars to entrepreneurs.

After all, the sizzle was not a hassle but an ingredient to Lenmar’s hot success.

For orders, you may book via e-Commerce delivery platforms such as FoodPanda and GrabFood. For inquiries on store channels and distribution, you may reach them via their Facebook page: SISIG Teriyaki. For more information on local products and produce proudly made from Cebu, visit DTI Cebu Facebook page. ♦

Date of Release: 11 January 2021