CEO Ben Wintle discusses his popular online platform that recommends a variety of businesses around the Philippines to inquiring users.
This is an excerpt from Lifestyle Asia’s June 2023 Issue.
Ben Wintle is a British-Filipino entrepreneur and current Chief Executive Officer of Booky.ph, one of the leading online restaurant booking and discovery platforms in the Philippines. He grew up in Hong Kong, went to university in the United Kingdom and lived in China studying Mandarin. He then moved back to Hong Kong to do his first job in real estate.
Together with his partner, he has grown his business Booky. ph to become a popular online platform that helps users discover and book restaurants, beauty salons, and other service providers in the Philippines. Users can search for places to eat, read reviews, and make reservations directly through the site or mobile app. Booky is a free app that works both in IOS and Android phones. The platform also offers various deals and discounts, making it an attractive option for those looking for good deals on dining and other services.
Under Wintle’s leadership, Booky.ph has grown significantly and has become one of the most popular and trusted online platforms for restaurant bookings and reviews in the country.
Wintle started his entrepreneurial journey at 24 years old with a head hunting company.They grew this company in Hong Kong and in China. After his success, he exited this business in 2009 and in 2011 moved to Manila to set up a tech team. They tried to create different apps but Booky is the first one that really stuck in 2014. They started it because he and his then girlfriend and now current wife, actress Iza Calzado, found that there were not enough good sources of information on where to dine out in the Philippines. Wintle saw an opportunity and now considers Booky.ph as the number one restaurant discovery and deal site in the Philippines.
The COVID-19 pandemic and what they think is the need to utilize the food and beverage industry in the country pushed them to create a new product of Booky.ph to help merchants digitize. Now that the economy is opening up, they are doing their part in bringing more joy to the dinner table.
“To build a great business, it takes a lot of time and work. There are no shortcuts. Booky has been going on for 9 years and yet we still see so much opportunity to capture in the Philippines. The analogy I would like to make is “when you look at a tree with big sprawling branches what you see above is what you see below. The point I am making is a thriving business is doing good business because it has deep roots as its foundation. We know that Booky has those deep roots and as a result we are creating a lot of value in the Philippines.”
He adds, “We are in business to create joy and spread the love. And even if an elegant tech solution may be invisible, creating a tech solution at a functional perspective is our goal. We want Filipinos to save time and money. So they can spend that time being with their families. Ultimately, we want to use the Booky platform to shine a spotlight on other social causes in the Philippines. We have a lot of users so there is that opportunity to use that to create and educate Filipinos with problems like plastic pollution, animal welfare, nutrition.”
Read more by purchasing a copy of the Lifestyle Asia June 2023 magazine via SariSari.shopping or select newsstands in National Bookstore and Fully Booked. Subscribe to the E-Magazine via Readly, Magzter, and Press Reader.
Photos by Excel Panlaque of Kliq, Inc.