A Mang Inasal restaurant manager's story of resilience, growth

Posted on 28 Dec 2023

A success served hot — almost grilled to perfection. Such was the journey of Romnick Potane who first became part of the Jollibee Group as a service crew during college but is now one of the reliable restaurant managers of Mang Inasal Iponan branch in Cagayan de Oro City.

Before joining Mang Inasal, Potane worked as a crew member in Greenwich. After graduation, he worked as an accounting staff for a manufacturing company. With a degree in Accounting Technology, he never really thought he would return to the restaurant industry. But after two years, he found himself on that path again.

Hindi ko naisip na babalik ako sa Jollibee Group. I worked in a manufacturing company but there were times na parang gusto ko bumalikna parang doon ako happy,” he shared.

Potane officially joined Mang Inasal in 2018 as a Management Trainee. Originally from Compostela Valley now known as Davao de Oro, he was first assigned to Bajada, Davao City.

Through his skills and leadership, and with his family as his inspiration, he achieved remarkable career growth in just five years.

In 2019, he was transferred to another branch, still in Davao City, and trained as a Service Quality Manager. In the same year, Mang Inasal Cagayan de Oro requested him to be a part of its team as a Product Quality Manager.

Impressed by his passion and outstanding performance, he was appointed as a store Officer-in-Charge in January 2020 and was eventually certified as a Restaurant Manager in November 2022.

“Jollibee Group has given me professional and personal growth. It gave me so much to look forward to in terms of business management and people empowerment,” Potane said. “It also taught me to believe in my capacity to deliver as a leader. The company never stopped believing in us, even when challenges arise.”

Biggest challenge

Like all team members across the globe, Potane and his team were also affected by the pandemic. Their Iponan store closed for five months. While he was assured that the store would reopen, he admits that he wasn’t immediately able to shake off his uncertainty.

“My team and I lost our only source of income. During that time, we were emotionally and mentally worried. I am the breadwinner of my family and I was anxious of how we were going to survive,” he added.

Apart from his savings, the cash assistance provided by Mang Inasal to its employees helped Potane tide over the pandemic.

Knowing his teammates were also going through a tough time financially and psychologically, Potane initiated a regular kumustahan to provide an outlet for them to discuss their anxieties and to give them hope and reassurance. “I instilled in their minds that here in Jollibee Group, we are one family. Walang maiiwan. There was resilience earned from that experience,” he said.

In December 2020, the store reopened, and the team eagerly helped resume its operations.

Successes and milestones

Being part of Mang Inasal has taught Potane how the brand puts its employees and customer satisfaction first. After all, he underscored that giving customers a “wow” experience involves marrying best-tasting food with consistent customer service.

In line with Jollibee Group’s commitment to food safety and quality management, Potane ensures safety and quality standards in the store. Under his leadership, their store received three gold awards and recognition for Food, Service, and Cleanliness (FSC) Excellence in 2019, 2021, and 2022.

Despite various economic challenges, his team’s dedication and collaborative efforts also allowed the store to achieve its sales targets for 2022 and 2023.

According to Potane, these are possible because of Jollibee Group’s continuous support and quality training and activities that facilitate the growth and empowerment of its employees. The Restaurant Manager Capability Series, which focuses on FSC, people training systems, and problem-solving techniques helped enhance his leadership skills.

In addition, Potane highlights the encouragement that he received from his mentors and colleagues as a huge part of his success. “Just a simple tap on my back, saying I did a great job after doing a task really means a lot. It motivates me to do more, give more, and deliver the best results,” he said.

Recently, Potane was selected to be among the eight Restaurant Managers in Visayas and Mindanao who participated in the Regional Business Units Planning held in Davao City. Having the opportunity to share the room with excellent leaders is one of the highlights of his career with the Jollibee Group.

“This is a great exposure and experience for me, to take part in the planning. That was my first time interacting with all the leaders in our business unit. As a young leader, I’m excited to look ahead and help make Mang Inasal’s mission and vision happen,” he added.

With a grateful and driven heart, Potane is determined to learn and share more with his teammates as they continue to cross off milestones that uplift themselves and their respective families.

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