Mia Robles-Ng of Breakthrough Restaurant is SM City Iloilo’s Mompreneur Mother’s Day spotlight.
Mompreneur, or “momtrepreneurs,” is a portmanteau of the words “mom” and “entrepreneur”. It describes women who run their own businesses while also exercising full-time parenting.
Not all heroes wear a cape, some wear an apron and prepare delicious recipes in the kitchen and Mia Robles-Ng is one good example who runs a restaurant business at the ground floor of SM City Iloilo.
This Mother’s Day, strong women from different places were being highlighted and honored for their exemplary role in raising their families while attending the operations of their businesses and still manage to do it with flying colors.
Mia Robles-Ng of Breakthrough Restaurant
When you’re in Iloilo, trying the delicious local cuisine is a must and Breakthrough Restaurant is a go-to place. If you haven’t been to Breakthrough, then you haven’t been to Iloilo quipped by many travelers who have visited Iloilo.
Breakthrough Restaurant in Iloilo is a brainchild of known seafood restaurateur couple Munding and Daday Robles – parents of Mia Robles. Raymundo “Munding Robles’ is a BS Marine Biologist while Daday is a Hotel and Restaurant Administration graduate.
The popular restaurant is a “joint force” project of the Robles couple who were into fish culture and aquaculture farming business and HRM before they entered into the local food scene.
The chain of restaurants under the name Breakthrough is now being managed by Mia Robles-Ng. Breakthrough started as a small, carinderia like or turo-turo style food eatery with a simple home-cooked menu with off the grill seafoods.
“My father was not a fan of advertising before. He didn’t pay for any ad,” said Mia.
Breakthrough is a product of hard work and good customer relations described by Mia in Hiligaynon dialect as “pag-amuma”. It grew from word-of-mouth of our patrons and friends,” shared Mia.
The restaurant pioneered in offering grilled red snapper or “Managat” – a tasty fish variety that Mia’s father developed to become part of the mainstream menu. The Managat is considered like a pest before and of low-value. However, Munding Robles who believed that Managat is a tasty type of fish used his expertise to culture Managat in his farm and innovate something and to offer it as natural as it can be.
The fish is among sought after in the menu on their SM City branch. “Partnering with SM,” revealed Mia, “is a value-added factor. It helped us reach more customers considering that the Ilonggos really love SM.”
As the restaurant business developed, Mia made sure that their employees are part of its growth by attending to their needs and welfare.
“It feels nice to give a livelihood to people, to give them jobs and earnings. Now, we have scholarship programs to exceptional children of our employees,“ she enthused.
Related read: Breakthrough Iloilo and the Robles Farms
Adapting to the new normal also offered a lot of challenges for Breakthrough. Yet the experience of the Robles family has allowed them to cope with the situation and continue its operations. From purely dine in services, it expanded to food delivery.
“It’s our first take on delivery service. Honestly, our food is best eaten dined in and or fresh off the grill, but we really have to adapt to this pandemic,” she said.
“We have used different mediums, like telemarketing and social media, to remind people that we are still here. One good thing, in addition, is that our employees were also among the hardworking people and they have shown willingness to do other tasks. We have waiters before who are now delivery riders,” Mia underscored.
Moreover, Mia Robles-Ng also emphasized that SM City has also been really generous with their discounted rates on rentals. The move by SM has allowed Breakthrough to cope under the extended pandemic.
3 takeaways from Mia Robles-Ng
“There are a lot of things to learn from the health crisis”, said Mia.
First, “social media is the key now. Everyone’s on their phones. Whatever food that they find interesting, especially if it is yummy looking, they will try it – they will buy it,” she emphasized.
For Breakthrough, we believe that you have to really make a promise to ensure repeat customers. The product must be good, underscored Mia, something that will make Ilonggo customers declare: “ay kanamit gd man! or that the food is very delicious. I will eat this again! I will let all my family taste this,” she underscored.
Second, “don’t just be instagramable!” she reminded, “you need to have something that will make them call you again or come back to you again.”
Third, “we are now living under the new normal. It’s ok to go out – to eat out! – for as long as we follow health and safety protocols,” explained Mia and she emphasized that “we have to thrive again! Support Local so that we can help others and our community to thrive again.”
Breakthrough Restaurant has thrived as a result of Mia’s positive mindset as mother and entrepreneur.
Mia Robles-Ng to all mothers
“As a mother, sometimes I think that I am at my best yet there are times that I also feel I am not good enough. I always want the best for my kids. Motherhood is a journey, I haven’t mastered it and that I need to be kind to myself too; to remind myself to trust my instincts and just ‘you do you’,” expressed Mia.
As we mark Mother’s day this year, Breakthrough Restaurant’s Mia Robles-Ng has this message to share: “A mother is a home where you feel safe and loved. Nurturing, encouraging, and where you can be yourself.”