Life as an internet cafe owner in the Philippines one year on

The point of making mistakes is having the ability to admit them. The internet cafe business people will often say can’t make money but it can and does everyday. The mistakes are made on the setup and after a year of ours I can see where we should have saved money and also reduced maintenance costs.

Buy speakers may sound mad but it actually removes the ability of people to snap headset cables, chew the microphones or lose the ear foams. Doesn’t mean you don’t have headsets but people have to ask for them and you can check them before they leave for damage. In a year we have gone through around 18 headsets due to various forms of damage.

Keyboards take a beating regularly with gamers in the first six months we went through no breakages but I then added gaming PCs which has resulted in 5 keyboards being broken within about 6 weeks adding P2 per hour and blaming the keyboard damage for it has a two fold affect though the damages have dropped and the profits are up.

Peso-Peso is the way to go (automated computers using coin slots) this removes the need for you to be hands on too much and thus reduces the biggest cost which is staffing the place. With the Sari-Sari on the back someone is always here anyway but at the same time allows people to get online faster which means they are out faster allowing the next customer onto the machine faster. Stops bottle necks when your busy serving more than one person. You can remove the internet cafe software as well which speeds up the machines.

Look for other ways to make cash to help the netcafe one thing we are doing at the moment is moving over to Peso-Peso at the same time we will be moving the homepages on each PC to a page I am setting up online for Google searches to catch the initial searches which is deep frozen so it can’t be changed by people. Not a big revenue but you can do similar on peoples PC repairs as a Google search page is a Google search page most people won’t change it.

Consoles at the current location were a waste of money as people simply don’t use them. Why I am not 100% as many games are better on the consoles I think a lot has to do with Facebook.

Research your online games IN THE PHILIPPINES installing crossfire increased revenues considerably due to people competing for ranks against each other ended up some people coming in for 3 – 4 hrs at a time if they hadn’t been in for a few days to catch up with their friends.

Would I do it again?

The internet cafe concept works on a small scale if attached to another business at the same time it can be mainly automated which is the key to it. The more automated this and other businesses are the higher the profit margins.

Aren’t Peso-Peso machines expensive?

We are building them and I can offer the same services to others, when I initially looked at the idea I found people wanting literally thousands of Pesos for something that is worth less than P2,000 as it was a box I can supply them complete with desks and if you just want a bolt on unit to existing we can accommodate that as well. Main advantage of this method is it reduces the risk of theft by staff as you can add a counter out of sight to see how much money should be in each cash box if they did find a way round the lock mechanism. If interested email me at


4 comments for “Life as an internet cafe owner in the Philippines one year on

  1. Rohany F Sexton
    January 1, 2011 at 2:25 am

    so Matt.. just an inquiry.. how much do you usually charge for the peso-peso machine box? This is nice to cater next to every sari-sari store.

    • Tropicalpenpals
      January 1, 2011 at 5:52 am

      Just the electronic bolt on box ready to connect up? Basically what the box will do is remove the feed of electric from speakers+monitor rather than computer as this stops the machine getting damaged so still needs some manual button pressing or leaving the machine on all day in hibernation.

      But presently looking at around P2000 but to be honest wouldn’t cost much more to have the desk with it built in (will get a photo to show on here).

  2. Kevin Brown
    May 9, 2011 at 1:37 am

    Hello, i own a small internet cafe in lapux2 , im interested in your product can you give me pricing for 15-30 units?

    • Tropicalpenpals
      May 9, 2011 at 1:44 am

      Hi Kevin,

      are you looking for fully enclosed or just the added peso-peso box to run the machines?