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How to Start a Siomai Business in the Philippines

By Yesh Quijano    November 13, 2023       min read

Siomai is a popular snack in the Philippines and has become a staple in many households. With its increasing demand and relatively easy operations, it’s no wonder why many entrepreneurs are venturing into selling this delectable snack.

In this article, we will discuss the ins and outs of starting a siomai business, providing you with tips and strategies to help you succeed. Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Siomai is a popular snack in the Philippines across all age groups.

  • Starting a siomai business can be profitable with the right strategies and information.

  • Some tips include finding the right location, creating a unique recipe, and marketing your product effectively.

Is A Siomai Business Profitable In The Philippines?

The good news is that siomai is a very popular food item in the country, and is consumed by people of all ages.

This means that there is definitely potential for profit in selling it, having estimated profit margins ranging from 30% to 150%!

Street food vendors often remain busy, especially if they’re stationed near schools and offices. Common food favorites include fishball, kikiam, squid ball, kwek kwek, and of course, siomai.

For budding entrepreneurs on a tight budget, starting a siomai business is an ideal choice.

Not only is it straightforward to put up, but it also offers high-profit margins. Have you heard about the couple who went from being cash-strapped to raking in PHP50,000 daily with their venture?

How To Start A Siomai Business

Here are eight essential steps to get started in your new venture.

Research The Market

Prior to launching your business, it’s crucial to conduct market research to gauge the local demand for siomai.

You can gather information by visiting other dim sum businesses, talking to potential customers, and conducting surveys. While optional, you can also write a siomai business plan.

Pro Tip: Siomai is in high demand nearby schools, offices, or any location that has a lot of foot traffic.

Ensure You Have Sufficient Capital

You will need capital to purchase equipment, and ingredients, and rent a space or purchase a cart. Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover these expenses before getting started.

Siomai businesses will require capital as low as PHP 5,000 but may go up to PHP 30,000 and beyond.

Name Your Business

Select a memorable and appealing name that represents your brand and product effectively. Make sure the name is not already taken and is easy to remember.

Tip: Use this format to create a brand name: [ADJECTIVE] + [FOOD]. For example:

  • Master Siomai

  • Papu’s Siomai

Register Your Business

Register your business with the appropriate government agency to obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This will ensure that your business operates legally and avoids any legal issues.

Learn How To Make Homemade Siomai (Optional)

Learn how to make homemade siomai by researching recipes and techniques online, watching videos, or attending cooking classes. You can also experiment with different ingredients to create your own unique recipe. Alternatively, you can find a supplier online.

Kitchen equipment suppliers

  • NegoPinoy Trading

  • NegosyoNow

  • IBCOM Kitchen Equipment

  • Catering Depot Philippines

  • MJD Industries, Inc.

Food suppliers:

  • ACM Frozen Food Products Suppliers

  • Great Food Solutions

  • Maco’s Meat Products Direct Supplier

  • Princess & Stacey’s Frozen Food Supplier

Packaging suppliers

  • Binondo Street

  • Packaging Depot Manila

  • Grand Champ Packaging

This list of suppliers is taken from Thrifty Pinay. Credit for the list goes to her.

Purchase Essential Equipment

Purchase essential equipment such as a steamer, cutting board, knives, and other kitchen utensils. You may also need to purchase a freezer and refrigerator to store your ingredients.

Find A Good Location

Find a good location for your siomai business that is easily accessible and visible to potential customers. Consider renting a space in a busy market or near a school or office.

Tip: If you’re tight on a budget, a food cart is a cheaper alternative to renting a space. Based on my research, carts only cost PHP 6,000 to PHP 8,000 on Carousell.

Market Your Product

Market your business on Facebook and Instagram. To promote your business, you can try offering seasonal discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs to encourage repeat customers.

Tips For A Successful Siomai Business

Find The Price Sweet Spot

Pricing your products just right is crucial to the success of your business. You want to make sure that your prices are competitive enough to attract customers, but also high enough to cover your costs and make a profit.

Research the prices of similar businesses in your area and aim to match or slightly undercut them. For example, if a nearby Master Siomai stall sells Pork and Shrimp Siomai (4pcs) at PHP 55, you can sell yours at just PHP 45.

Consider Offering Refreshments

While siomai is a favorite food for many, customers may also appreciate having refreshments available to complement their meals. Consider offering drinks such as gulaman or iced tea to enhance the dining experience. This is also a nice boost to your sales and profits.

Be Consistent In Quality And Operating Hours

Consistency is key to building a loyal customer base. Make sure that the quality of your food remains consistent and meets the expectations of your customers. Use fresh ingredients and ensure that it is prepared and cooked properly.

In addition, be consistent in your operating hours. Ensure that your business is open during the hours that you have advertised and that you are ready to serve customers when they arrive. This can help build trust and reliability with your customers.

Wrapping Up

To wrap this up, I’d like to share this quote from Teresita Barrientos of Ayo’s Siomai. Teresita has been a siomai seller for 17 years and started with just a PHP 600 capital.

Here’s what she said:

“Huwag susuko, dapat kailangan laban lang para maabot natin ang mga pangarap natin.”

About the author 

Yesh Quijano

Yesh Quijano is an entrepreneur and digital marketer who's been in the game for over 11 years. He started several businesses and helped countless others reach new heights. His goal is to make digital marketing for SMEs simple, accessible, and effective. When he's not working, you can find him cuddling with his two cats.

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