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October 15, 2019

Whilma’s Filipino Restaurant gets the help it needs

By Jennifer Amundson, Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications

This is the story of how I ended up taped to a wall in Searcy, Arkansas.

It starts with Whilma Frogoso. She is the charming owner of a Filipino restaurant that has been open in Searcy since 2009. A small business that has survived a decade could be called a success, but Whilma was struggling. Her restaurant was so heavily reliant on students from the nearby college that it was hard to earn a profit in the summer. She was working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day. She was the only chef at the restaurant, so if she wasn’t cooking, they couldn’t open. She was making such a wide range of foods and portion sizes that preparing and plating was a logistical nightmare, not to mention how confusing the ordering process was for her diners. That said, she was amazingly successful for a business with no website. You read that right and I’ll repeat it for emphasis. Whilma’s Filipino Restaurant did not have a website.

The Small Business Revolution immediately wanted to work with Whilma and her family. Their needs fit exactly what we do. We build websites. We develop branding. We bring in industry experts to help with the issues specific to their line of work. Plus, they were so appreciative of the help. We wanted to tell the world about their food.

Deluxe started by interviewing Whilma and her family about the restaurant. We needed to know what they wanted to promote and what was challenging them. Then we started building.

The first step was a mood board, a collection of colors, sample images and textures from which to build their branded materials. We developed two different looks and let the Frogosos choose which one they preferred. Then they chose a logo from four we developed.

Next came the website. The Frogoso family is such an important part of the business, we took custom photos to be sure they were front and center and highlighted their story on its own page. Whilma’s unique and delicious food (seriously, the best food) took the silver medal on the site, featured heavily along with a searchable menu to help Googlers find them.

Finally, we brought in the whole team to revamp the restaurant. We provided new commercial kitchen appliances, pulled up the ornery carpet and replaced it with hard flooring that is easier to maintain, and added some special touches to amp up the Filipino feeling. Deluxe’s Director of Enterprise Brand Management, Ashley Kimlingler and I expanded our skillset applying the peel-and-stick wall décor. We were only stuck together to the wall once, thankfully rescued by Devon Block, our intrepid designer.

The changes brought Whilma, and everyone who has watched the episode thus far, to tears. You have to see it for yourself. Watch the full episode by clicking here.


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