Month: April 2019

Jollibee opens store in Guam

MANILA, Philippines — Fast food giant Jollibee Foods Corporations (JFC) opened its first store in Guam on Saturday.

According to Jollibee, its Guam store is part of the company’s accelerated global expansion plans in a bid to join the “Top 5 restaurant companies” in the world.

“The standalone Jollibee store seats 205 and it’s in front of Micronesia Mall in Dededo, the most populous village in Guam,” Jollibee said.

“An estimate of over 1,000 enthusiastic fans lined up with some queuing for 12 hours to celebrate the first day of Jollibee’s Guam store,” it said.

According to Jollibee, the Guam store is its 38th store in the United States territory.

Meanwhile, Dennis Flores, president and head of the company’s international business across Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia, said that he was amazed by the support of the residents in Guam during the branch opening.

“It was so fun to see such a diverse, eclectic group of people who call Guam home queueing up to enjoy our offerings and to experience the joy of eating delicious food together,” he said.

The fast food giant recently announced its accelerated North American expansion plan, which includes growing to 150 locations in the US and 100 in Canada for the next five years.

JFC is the parent company of Jollibee and has 14 brands with over 4,500 stores across 21 countries. /jpv

*This article was originally  published and posted by Philippine Daily Inquirer  last April 7, 2019 and can be found at

Build a business that lasts

 Consistency and creativity combined are the keys to the future.

The novelist Norman Mailer once wrote, “There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.” Entrepreneurs can confirm that this law applies to business as well.

For food kiosk pioneer Potato Corner, the willingness to innovate began with the product itself. In 1992, they opened their first outlet and introduced the country to the now-famous flavored French fries. The fries were a hit, and soon after, Potato Corner opened their business to franchising.

Of course, success in the early days does not ensure longevity. What proves to be a hit one day may become out of style the next. As Therese Gonzales, Potato Corner Master Franchisee for Cebu, puts it, “I just never thought when I did this 18 years ago—because we were just dealing with one product, which is French fries—that we would be able to last this long.”

One reason for the company’s growth is the management’s insistence on the quality and consistency of their products. “I’m a very hands-on type of person and manager. I tell my staff [that] the way of cooking, the way of serving, it has to be the right way,” says Gonzales.

More importantly, Potato Corner was able to maintain product quality while keeping themselves open to change. As one of the earliest franchisees, Gonzales attests to witnessing this openness in Potato Corner CEO Jose Magsaysay. “He would listen to whatever I would say, whether it was a positive input or a suggestion.”

Innovations like ventless frying, larger servings, and the launch of concept outlets have helped the company weather tough times and establish themselves as an industry leader.

Gonzales herself opened a concept branch in Cebu, called the Spud Diner. “It’s more potato products, like baked potato lasagna, croquettas, and potato carbonara,” she says. “So I see that being offered also, letting people know that we have more potato products other than the French fries.”

With their commitment to quality and their willingness to adapt and take risks, the future certainly looks bright for Potato Corner.


*this article was copied and originally published in BusinessMirror last March 29, 2019 and can be also found at

PH brands expand to foreign markets

H​omegrown Philippine brands continue to level up to global standards with the help of franchising.

Philippine Franchise Association President Richard Sanz said about 30 Filipino brands have successfully penetrated markets overseas and that about a hundred more are expected to join the fold in three years. “We advocate Filipino franchises to go global. We want to see 100 of our brands in the international scene. These brands come from the mainstreaming of homegrown concepts. We have seen a lot of successful brands not only from Metro Manila but from the Visayas and Mindanao. It only makes sense for them to look for opportunities abroad. And when foreigners see these brands, they see the potential of these products in their home markets,” he said. This will be one of the focal points at the Franchise Asia Philippines 2019 on March 27 to 31 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. In its 27th edition, the event continues to be the biggest franchise show in Asia with 13 participating countries showcasing more than 1,000 brands. About 20 percent of the brands during the show are foreign labels that seek entry into the dynamic Philippine market.



Among the trends that PFA expects foreign brands to bring are the concepts of manless business models and experiencing death and reincarnation, two global franchising concepts that are starting to take roots in different markets. The expensive cost of maintaining manpower is the major push for the manless concept. Robotics and technological advancement provides a major support for manless establishments such as Amazon Go and manless convenience stores that started in South Korea. Using their cards, consumers need only to tap to enter the stores, grab their purchases and go.

PH brands expand to foreign markets

The data on their card allows for this kind of shopping set-up wherein the establishments capture the proper data needed to process their purchases and billed through e-wallet.

The death and reincarnation franchise concept is a novel concept created to bring down the number of people taking their own lives. The participant has virtual experience while laying on a coffin for 30 minutes. Before that, he receives an inspirational message from a priest or a monk and gets to write his last will and testament. Another concept is the vendo machines. Vendo is not a totally fresh concept but it has always a dependable business model. Vendo, a Japanese selling concept, is now being franchised as well.

Locally, franchising trends that are shaping the industry include DIY laundromat, specialty skin and beauty concepts, food parks, food strips, the renaissance of barber shops, the third wave popularity of milk teas, micro-finance, dialysis clinics, the rise of celebrity franchisors, among others. These are mostly homegrown ideas that captured the interest of franchisors.

Franchise show

The franchise show continues to be a tool in promoting franchising as a business concept to many business owners and micro, small and medium enterprises. Sans said that franchising has evolved as a significant contributor to generating jobs for Filipinos. “From the moment PFA was founded, we have implemented a two-pronged approach of endorsing franchising as a strategy for growth for MSMEs and in encouraging ordinary Filipinos to take the path of entrepreneurship via franchising,” he said. Sanz said most pioneer franchisors are already preparing for the next of generation to take on the business. “In other words, franchising has not only shown itself as a catalyst in growing businesses but also a creator of legacies,” he said. PFA, he said, is bullish about hitting 25-percent growth to $31 billion in 2019 from $25 billion in 2018. One of the drivers for growth is the expanding middle class and their increasing ability to purchase goods and services. Another is the dispersal of jobs and development to areas outside Metro Manila such as Clark, Bacolod, Iloilo and Laguna. The third factor is the continuing growth of homegrown brands. PFA is also looking forward to bringing 100 more brands overseas by 2022. PFA is composed of more than 300 member-companies with at least 700 brands, combined. The group continues to mentor new businesses that want to expand through franchising.


Note: This article is copied from Manila Standard published on March 23 and is available online at