Photos by @tammydavid & @ralphmendo

Tropical Hut’s Resurgence Is Proof That Good Things Can Come Out Of Social Media

We love to see it.

If ever there was an award for most unexpected comeback of 2022, it would probably go to Tropical Hut and it’s near overnight viral revival.

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Social media is not a perfect tool. In the wrong hands, it can be used to spread hate and lies, sow division, and even erode democracy. But despite all its flaws, if there is anything good that social media has given us, it is the fact that it gives a spotlight and raises awareness for things that normally would be forgotten. We see this happen often and one of the most recent examples of social media meets sentimentality to do good is the unexpected but deserving revival of classic fast food chain Tropical Hut.

BACK FROM THE PAST

Unless you’ve been disconnected from the internet, you may have heard that Tropical Hut has been having its moment in the sun as the hottest fast food chain right now. And it can trace its sudden success to a tweet from JP Tanyag. A week ago, he tweeted that he was at that their Escolta branch as the only customer. While the tweet was very much a slice of life moment, it soon went viral, racking up tens of thousands of likes as it struck a nerve with those who grew up eating Tropical Hut.

If you haven’t eaten at Tropical Hut (which may change in the coming weeks), know that the fast food chain is considered an institution of the Philippine fast food scene. Established in 1962, it precedes that of brands like Jollibee and McDonalds in the country. In 1972, it was bought by the Mercury Group of Companies Inc. and has since been operating in the country. Over 50 years later, Tropical Hut is still standing, which is something its other competitors can’t say. But over time, the fast food chain’s popularity has waned as newer and more global chains started eating up more of the market.

But clearly, the love for Tropical Hut is still there. And thanks to that viral tweet, Tropical Hut has been seeing a surge of customers. Social media has been filled with clips of Grab drivers waiting by the dozens outside some Tropical Hut branches. Tropical Hut themselves are aware of their recent attention and have thanked people for their renewed support.

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SO POPULAR THEY’RE RUNNING LOW ON SUPPLIES

May be an image of text that says 'Tropical Hut 1965 Sarap na ADVISORY Thank you for your overwhelming support. Some items are low in stock but we will serve your order as soon as our stocks are replenished. Please bear with us. #SarapnaBabalikbalikan'

The high demand has been great news for many attached to the fast food chain. For starters, staff are busy fulfilling requests from customers every hour as those days of empty stores are long gone. Grab drivers are also busy getting orders to the point where some are even turned away due to high volume. There have also been job openings in a few Tropical Hut locations for more staff to help meet demand. Tropical Hut might just even expand outside of the Metro with calls for branches in the provinces. The chain has become so popular that it even shared a message thanking customers for their patronage and that they were experiencing a shortage on certain supplies. Don’t worry though as they are working hard to resupply. They really went from low foot traffic to selling out common items in their commissary in over a week.

Their tagline of #SarapBabalikbalikan is true to life with both old customers who remember the chain from their youth and new customers haven’t tried it yet eating from Tropical Hut. The fast food chain has always had the reputation of having delicious food, a variety of items on the menu, and all served at low prices. And now, more people get to experience the underrated gem.

It’s amazing to think that just a couple of weeks ago, Tropical Hut wasn’t on most people’s radar. But thanks to one tweet and the power of childhood nostalgia, that all changed. Good things can come from social media when used positively. All their recent success warms the heart even more when just a couple of years ago, a branch in Carmona (that has since closed), asked people to eat in the restaurant.

To some, this hype might just feel like a trend. But to those who work at Tropical Hut, these means the world to them to be so busy as their livelihoods are no longer at stake. Hopefully it’s not just the higher ups but the hardworking staff who benefit from their sudden growth.

If you do fancy yourself a meal from Tropical Hut, we recommend you try their clubhouse sandwiches and spring chicken meals. Just please be patient and understanding towards staff and Grab drivers if the order takes a while to arrive given how popular it has become as of late. Their success and resurgence is a reminder that there are local gems out there worthy and deserving of the attention. So, once you’re done eating at Tropical Hut, take the time to discover other classic Filipino food spots. Who knows, we might see a Mushroom Burger resurgence this 2022 as well.    

Continue Reading: 8 Viral 2021 TikTok Trends You Didn’t Know Were Started By Filipinos

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