Month: September 2019

Fruitas Holdings ramping up store expansion

By Leslie Gatpolintan
Published online by the Philippine News Agency, September 24, 2019

MANILA — Food and beverage kiosk operator Fruitas Holdings Inc., which is preparing for an initial public offering (IPO), is expanding its footprint as it plans to have up to 750 new stores in the next three years, amid strong consumer spending and vibrant economy.

Fruitas Holdings chief financial adviser Calvin Chua said the company will use PHP586 million out of about PHP1-billion net proceeds from the IPO for its store network expansion and improvement of existing stores.

Chua said they aimed to increase the number of stores across the country by 150 to 250 annually until 2022.

“In terms of prospects, all the factors are still there –growing middle class, rapid urbanization. Last year, our combined VisMin (Visayas, Mindanao) sales was 150 percent higher than 2017. This year, we think it will be broad-based, it could be more spread across the whole country… The economy is really vibrant, so we think growth prospects are very good for us,” he told reporters Tuesday.

As of June 2019, Fruitas had 949 stores, 774 of which were owned and 175 were franchised. The company targets to hit its 1,000th store mark by the end of 2019.

It ended first half 2019 with PHP942 million in revenues, up 30 percent over the first half of 2018.

“Apart from that, the other avenues of growth would be, we also allocated 15 percent of our net proceeds, about PHP150 million, for potential acquisitions and the introduction of new concepts. We also intend to diversify (our) distribution channels,” he added.

Chua particularly cited the lechon delivery through contacting mobile or landline numbers, and the revival of its coffee kiosks. Fruitas acquired Sabroso Lechon in 2018.

He said the company is also banking on their partnerships with Grabfood and on delivery of fresh coconut water boosting its sales.

“In terms of the acquisitions and the introduction of new concepts, we are casting a wide net. In terms of targets, we are looking at food service in general. We are not limiting ourselves to food and beverage kiosks,” he added.

Chua said they are also looking to establish two more food parks at a cost of PHP50 million, targeting Metro Manila or Luzon, up to 2021.

Fruitas operates food parks in Quezon City–Uno Cinquenta in Maginhawa Street and Le Village, The Lifestyle Park in E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue.

“A number, at least a couple of our brands have grown through our food parks. Initially placed in our food parks, then we open in Metro Manila, then we open provincially. That’s a sort of roadmap for some of our new brands,” Chua noted.

Fruitas has now over 20 brands in its portfolio such as Fruitas, Juice Avenue, Buko Loco, and de Original Jamaican Pattie and Juice Bar.

Chua said the remaining PHP50 million it targets to raise from an IPO will be earmarked for commissary expansion while the PHP150 million for debt repayment.

Fruitas Holdings planned to offer up to 602 million common shares at a maximum price of PHP1.99 each to raise as much as PHP1.2 billion from an IPO targeted this November. (PNA)


This article is originally published by the Philippine News Agency which can be accessed online at

Corner of success

Published online by the Business World, September 24, 2019

JOSE MAGSAYSAY JR. had scant corporate knowledge and experience when he started Potato Corner with his partners.

But through sheer determination and hard work, he built Potato Corner to one of the leading brands in the fast food industry.

His first foray into the industry began after he dropped out of college to work in a hamburger chain to help his mother with the household finances. In 1992, his brother-in-law suggested that they start a business selling flavored french fries to make money on the side.

They soon opened the first Potato Corner kiosk in one of Metro Manila’s biggest malls. This fledgling startup’s first office was his mother’s house and their first filing cabinet was her old oven.

It took considerable time and effort for Mr. Magsaysay and his partners to get the company off the ground. He recounts, “Most of us had no experience working in a corporate environment so it took us a long time to learn how to run a company. We had to learn the function of the board, shareholders and CEO.”

By learning through experience and experimenting with a franchising business model, he and his partners were able to open 120 Potato Corner stores by 1997.

As Potato Corner grew, Mr. Magsaysay eventually had to decide between his full-time job at the hamburger chain and Potato Corner.

Being a risk-taker, he chose the latter and left his stable job as a district manager.

To this day, he stands by his decision as he advises entrepreneurs that, “If you want to succeed in something you want to do, you better cut all your lifelines. If you have an option to always go back to something, you’ll never do your best.”

After five years, Mr. Magsaysay decided to try his hand at new things and left Potato Corner to become the general manager of a donut chain. He also returned to school and earned his master’s degree in entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). As he was about to graduate from the AIM, the Asian Financial Crisis hit and Potato Corner stores dropped from 120 to less than 40.

Refusing to give up on this venture, he returned to Potato Corner armed with a five-year multi-business plan where he rationalized operations and cut costs to preserve cash flow. His plan also included streamlining the company’s processes and operations by developing systems aimed to strengthen its supply chain. He worked with business consultants and third parties to create solutions for the company’s issues.

He also transformed the company’s culture into a more open and collaborative environment by boosting morale and fostering a sense of camaraderie among employees and management. He says that he strives to find a way to work with the people he hires and integrate them into the system of the company.

Potato Corner bounced back under Mr. Magsaysay’s leadership and became a staple fast-food kiosk in malls and schools. From the remaining 40 kiosks, they have opened over 1,000 stores in 11 foreign markets today.

Mr. Magsaysay credits the company’s success to its easy-to-get franchise model which makes business ownership accessible, creating a whole community of budding entrepreneurs. He claims that their franchisees get the best and highest net profit margin because they do not require royalty fees. At present, 80% of the company’s stores are franchises, including its foreign outlets.

Another example of a bold practice is their strategy of setting up stores overseas. Unlike their competitors, Potato Corner does not locate its stores abroad near Filipino communities because they believe that fries are a ubiquitous and well-loved snack. Through this approach, they have opened over 200 stores in Indonesia, Panama, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Kuwait and the United States.

Despite the company’s considerable success, Mr. Magsaysay and his team refuse to be complacent in today’s challenging business landscape. He explains, “As an entrepreneur, you’re always pivoting, on the edge, and playing a running game.”

One of the most significant challenges is being one company with one brand that sells one product. To address this challenge, Cinco Corp. is diversifying its brand lineup with different products through Halikinu, its subsidiary company, which sells products like shawarma, goto and barbecue that cater to different market segments.

Mr. Magsaysay has big plans for his micro-business as he envisions Cinco Corp. to be the leading kiosk operator in the world with 5,000 stores within the next five years.

What began as a venture to earn extra money has evolved into an enterprise which aims to create, develop and empower entrepreneurs. Not only does Mr. Magsaysay train his franchisees, he also mentors his employees and encourages them. “I want all of you to pass through and graduate from Potato Corner as my business partners.”

He is determined to continue this even after his retirement by investing in start-up businesses as a way of giving back and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs.

Mr. Magsaysay is a maverick and has broken and bended rules in the fast food industry and the best practices set by his competitors. His ability to think out-of-the-box has earned him several accolades such as the AIM Alumni Achievement Award, Asia CEO Awards Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, the Association of Filipino Franchisers Galing ng Pinoy! Award, PLDT-SME MVP Bossing Award and the Franchise Excellence Hall of Fame Award.

A true disruptor in his field, Mr. Magsaysay believes that completely dedicating time and effort to one’s craft can lead to success.

His advice to would-be entrepreneurs is to “Master one thing only and do not think about the money. As soon as you master your craft, people will want to be your partner.”

This article is originally published by the Business World which can be accessed online at

Miss Pure Nectar

Published online by the Manila Bulletin, September 22, 2019

Fruit Magic started in 1993. But my dad (Allan Escalona) began to manage it in 1999. Of the three of us, I was the one who was most involved with the business back then. It was very challenging, because my dad was (still is) the president and CEO. But I had him behind me all the way.

When I joined the business in 2014, I was only 23, I was assigned to the marketing department. So my job was super simple. I was tasked to create new designs for the business and improve our menus.

As I started to get more involved, I realized there were so many things I wanted to change. Apart from our HR services, I also wanted to revamp the store and make it more Instagrammable. That was also the year food delivery apps and fitness were on the rise. I remember talking to someone and they were serving around 500 customers a week. I was shocked. If I could tap those 500 people with just one brand, I could produce 500 bottles a day and I’m good.

But making Fruit Magic easy to deliver was among the toughest challenges I encountered. Our products were fruit shakes served in cups. We decided to put the shake in bottles, and it was a failure. The bottle exploded, the taste was compromised, and, worst, the juices had a short shelf life.

So we did our research and flew to the U.S. We learned that there was a proper way of preserving fresh fruit shakes—through cold press juicing. We studied it and brought machines to make our products ready for delivery.

In 2015, I established Pure Nectar.

This was the advice given to me before. You really have to look for something you have a competitive advantage on. My family is in the business of producing healthy beverages, so it makes perfect sense for me to create something along those lines.

Why should I venture into a shoe business if I don’t have the skills for shoemaking, the equipment needed, and the people to work with? If I’m going to start from scratch, then I’m not really ahead of the game. It’s going to be much harder for me to set out on this path.

“The biggest advantage of mature entrepreneurs is that they’ve been through a lot.”

I knew I needed to look at the feasibility of things in order for them to be attainable.

Another thing is that it’s important for me that my business should reflect who I am. One must go for things one is passionate about. It’s so hard to fight for a brand, build it, and grow it if you’re really not into it. I work out a lot and the business fits my lifestyle. So when people meet me they say, ‘Siya si Miss Pure Nectar.’ I didn’t plan that. It’s just that I really enjoy it, the fitness and wellness aspect of it.

So when you get into something, you really need to love it, because if don’t, everything is going to be irrelevant and meaningless.

To be a great leader, first and foremost, you have to be a great team player. You must learn how to earn the trust and respect of your team. Also being a leader is not measured by the title he or she is holding. A good leader should know how to listen well.

I think the biggest advantage of mature entrepreneurs is that they’ve been through a lot. I’m very lucky that my dad is here. He brought me around. We would go to lunches with his peers. It was fun because they gave me insights that helped me in the business. For me, the older generation is now more accepting of Millennials playing the game. There’s no discrimination, as long as the product is selling.

From a very young age, I’ve learned the responsibility of ownership and that’s the thing that has set things apart. Many kids these days will just get by for the sake of getting by. At a very young age, we were taught by our parents that we should work hard. Picking up that mindset has been a good training ground for all of us siblings. All of us now are into business. People ask us, “How did you jump into that?’ We owe it to our parents who have shaped us throughout the years until it comes naturally to us. We might have disagreements over budget and all, but in terms of the end goal of leading the business to a good place, that’s where we’re in unison.

This article is originally published by the Manila Bulletin which can be accessed online at

Generika, beyond business and competition

By Nazarene A. Leyco
Published online by the Business Mirror, September 19, 2019

Generika Drugstore has become not only the champion but also the cornerstone of the retail drugs industry in the country over the last decade, leading the movement in introducing highly affordable drugs with the same clinical care, efficacy and safety for all the Filipino people.

As it gears for brighter and successful years ahead, Generika goes beyond the common goal of acceptance and availability of affordable but quality medicines, and now seeks to provide a total health care for all Filipinos.

Though it may seem a Herculean task for the entire organization, Generika would like to reach out to Filipinos who are in the far ends of the country, and need access to affordable and quality medicines while, at the same time, help the government in taking care of the health and well-being of every Filipino.

Since Generika has a strong alliance—AC Health, which has been on top of everything since 2015—the goal of building a synergistic ecosystem that links every patient to a seamless health-care experience is making it happen in areas where they matter especially with FamilyDOC, a new chain of community-based primary care clinics, that is providing communities with doctors for their immediate health services.

“While there is a huge market, of course, in the key cities like NCR, we want to tap provincial cities also. We still want to make ourselves available and present in rural areas because we believe also that once we take care of these communities, our country will be better, too,” said Generika President and CEO Dino Francisco.

Generics medicines are usually priced at 70 percent to 80 percent more affordable than the branded medicines, however, the sad truth is most of us don’t really appreciate the contribution of generic medicines in our household.

Sharing his insights on this, “We want to think that Generika is the silent partner of every household in budgeting their income. Imagine, if you are spending at least P5,000 for your maintenance every month for branded medicines, when you buy generics, you can save up to 80 percent that is P4,000. This amount could go a long way, it could be used to pay other bills or for food,” Francisco said.

Generika started 16 years ago with a vision to provide every household access to affordable and quality generic medicines and, ever since, the company has never, in any way, been swayed to walk away from this vision. Since its inception, Generika has been very aggressive in its information education campaign to raise awareness about generic medicines, and as it grew, Generika is even reaching the far-flung areas in the country, which other drug companies don’t want to tap.

Though it may seem ambitious and silly, Generika has successfully grew its number close to 900 branches all over the country, a large majority of which is distributed strategically in Greater Metro Manila but before a new decade begins, Generika Drugstore is hoping to open at least 100 more branches, especially in the provinces to bring its count to a thousand and widen its areas of coverage.

Expansion for any player in the industry seem auspicious at this moment as the generic drugs industry is at a high level of marketplace competition now with prices of medicines continues to dive. The development of more generics over the years also contributed to the expected dive of generic drugs, making them more attractive than ever to consumers who are on a budget.

Competitors have capitalized on this to make more profit, Generika, on the other hand, sees this progress as an opportunity to better its service to the publics. The success it has gained over the years has evolved the entire organization into a more service-oriented enterprise rather than a money-raking entity. While it recognizes the fact that it still needs to make an income as it pays thousands of employees, but its not putting a premium on the wholistic care and services it can provide to the customers.

As it celebrates its 16th anniversary this month, executives of Generika vowed to expand by saturating the country with more outlets and offer quality affordable medicines with the same clinical benefits one gets from an expensive or branded medicine.

“Regardless of whose administration we are in, we have our sights on long-term goals to truly serve the public, especially the poor people, the most important thing is determining where we can we help them and the nation at large,” Francisco stressed.

He admitted that while Generika and the rest of competition strive hard to demystify wrong connotations about generic medicines, there is still that reluctance and distrust in the clinical value from certain segments in the market that creates a gap between them.

This gap is specifically extant in the communities in the provinces where there is lack of access to health care in terms of doctors, medicines and medical services.

With the expansion that Generika hopes to achieve, it does not only seek availability of affordable, safe and effective drugs for all ages, but a complete health care that comes with professional services, facilities and continuous education.

“One of the continuous challenges is the education, second is acceptance of generic medicines. We need to be consistent on acceptance, and you can’t separate education from acceptance,” Francisco said.

Francisco explained that every time a patient is prescribed with 500 grams paracetamol by his or her physician, the patient would almost automatically assume that it is an expensive brand.

To hurdle this widespread obstacle in the industry, Generika, as part of its education campaigns, is creating awareness to its customers through Generics Awareness Talks conducted by its pharmacists.

Generika also intends to capitalize on the wonders of digital technology and make its presence felt online. The company was the first drugstore chain in the country to offer electronic gift check for medicines called the “MEDPadala.”

“Another part of the innovation we have implemented is the Generika loyalty program known as Mobile GeneriKard, which hopefully will transform us into a leader in loyalty program using mobile devices or gadgets, which allows our customers to earn points for their medicine purchase even without the physical card,” Francisco quipped.

With numerous programs, innovations and developments to give its customers better services, Generika is still looking at releasing new products for its house brands—Actimed and Nutrawell.

“Actimed Generics is our house brand for chronic illnesses, maintenance medicines, prescription and we have the OTC [the over-the-counter drugs]. Nutrawell, on the other hand, are food supplements. It’s not for therapeutic care but it is something to aid the patient to enhance the well-being of the person. We have, for this house brand some vitamins, food supplement that are organic, natural. Probiotics is one of the perfect examples,” Francisco expounded.

He added that one of the utmost concern of the Generika is the safety, comfort and convenience of their customers, and to assure their loyal patrons, the Generika has been renovating its stores to its new look with wider and better customer service or selling area.

“We don’t want our customers worry about other things, so we make sure that all of our stores have a selling area wherein they can securely and safely transact their purchases,” Francisco stressed.

On top of all these, Generika Drugstore reiterated its beliefs that affordable, safe, effective and quality medicines should be available to every human being and made them to understand the kind of drugs they are buying and taking in at the same time, and the choices available in the market.

Furthermore, to reward its loyal patrons, Generika Drugstore, for its 16th anniversary Generika will be holding a simultaneous Nationwide Libreng Konsulta. Aside from the Libreng Konsulta, Generika will be giving away two Volkswagen Santana sedans, 13 motorcycles and 13 Sodexo GCs worth P5,000 each for its 16th Anniversary Promo.

This article is originally published by the Business Mirror which can be accessed online at


Calgary, “It’s Our Turn!”: Jollibee to Open First Store in Calgary, Canada on September 20

CNW Group
Published online by the Yahoo Finance, September 18, 2019

Jollibee Calgary Arrives Just a Month After Edmonton, Alberta Opening

CALGARY, Alberta , Sept. 16, 2019 /CNW/ — Only a month after opening its first store in Edmonton , the first in Alberta, Canada , popular fast-food restaurant Jollibee is gearing up for its first store in Calgary on Friday, September 20, 2019 . The store will be located at 999 36th St., NE Unit 1050 Calgary, AB T2A 7X6.

Canada continues to play a key role in Jollibee’s expansion plans as the chain progresses in its goal to open 100 branches in the country by 2023. Jollibee opened its first store in Winnipeg in 2016 and since then has rapidly added stores across the country. Calgary is the third store to open in Canada in the past month and will be the seventh store to open in the country to-date. As the most populated city in Alberta and home to more than 100,000 Filipinos, Calgary was the natural choice for the next store location.

Now, Calgary locals can finally say “It’s Our Turn,” as they’ll soon get their hands on Jollibee’s signature offerings, all available at the new location. Made with a secret marinade to make it crispylicious on the outside and juicylicious on the inside, Jolly Crispy Chicken is a fan-favorite often enjoyed with a side of hot, flavorful gravy and complemented by the chain’s signature sweet-style Jolly Spaghetti loaded with chunky slices of savory ham and hotdog. Finally, the Peach Mango Pie, famous for its delicious, gooey filling made with real Philippine mangoes enclosed in a light, crispy crust will make any meal complete.

To celebrate the brand’s arrival in Calgary and give back to locals who have waited patiently for a store in their own corner of Alberta, Jollibee will be hosting exclusive giveaways:

1. Jollibee will host an advance tasting of its menu for 50 lucky fans on September 19 , the day before the official opening. To win one of these coveted spots, fans should head to Jollibee Canada’s Facebook page for more details.
2. On opening day, the first 50 fans in line, who make a purchase of $25 or more, win ‘One Year of Joy,’ which includes a year’s supply of Jolly Crispy Chicken – that’s a six-piece bucket every month for a year!
3. On opening day, Jollibee will award coveted Jollibee barong-clad Funko Pop! figures to those in line carrying the most unique banners or posters with the hashtag, #ItsOurTurn.

Jollibee store openings in Canada and across the globe have been known to draw massive crowds as fans and curious newcomers alike queue up for even days beforehand for a chance to be among the store’s first customers. At the recent Edmonton opening, the store welcomed 8,000 customers on opening day and the first customer was a local who waited in line for a record three days even though he had never tried Jollibee before.

“As a major cosmopolitan area and Alberta’s largest city, Calgary is a key stepping stone in our expansion across Canada ,” said Beth Dela Cruz, President, JFC Brands North America. “To our Calgary family who have been eagerly awaiting the opening of this store, we look forward to welcoming you this Friday. It’s your turn!”

Jollibee is the flagship brand of Jollibee Foods Corporation’s 14 brands. JFC is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies with more than 4,500 stores in 21 countries.

About Jollibee

Jollibee is the largest fast food chain brand in the Philippines , operating a Philippine network of more than 1,300 stores. A dominant market leader in the Philippines , Jollibee has embarked on an aggressive international expansion plan.

Jollibee has more than 200 international branches including in the United States , Canada , Hong Kong , Macau , Brunei , Vietnam , Singapore , Malaysia , Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates , Qatar , Oman , Kuwait , Bahrain , Italy , and in the United Kingdom .

In North America , Jollibee opened its first store in 1998 in Daly City, California . It now operates 42 stores across the region, in the states of California , Florida , Hawaii , Illinois , Nevada , New Jersey , New York , Texas , Washington , and Virginia of the United States , and in Manitoba and Ontario in Canada .

Technomic has consistently cited Jollibee among its Top 500 ranking restaurants in the United States . It was also awarded as Multinational Corporation of the Year by the Asian Business League of Southern California in 2017.

About Jollibee Foods Corporation

Jollibee Foods Corporation is one of the largest and fastest growing Asian restaurant companies in the world.

It operates in 21 countries, with over 4,500 stores globally with branches in the Philippines , United States , Canada , China (including Hong Kong and Macau ), United Kingdom , Italy , Vietnam , Brunei , Singapore , Saudi Arabia , United Arab Emirates , Qatar , Oman , Kuwait , Bahrain , Indonesia , Costa Rica , Egypt , El Salvador , Panama , and now Malaysia . It has 8 wholly-owned brands (Jollibee, Chowking, Greenwich , Red Ribbon, Mang Inasal, Yonghe King , Hong Zhuang Yuan and Smashburger), 2 franchised brands (Burger King in the Philippines and Dunkin ‘ Donuts in certain territories in China ), a 60% ownership in the SuperFoods Group that owns Highland Coffee and PHO24 brands.

JFC has investments in Titan Dining LP, the ultimate holding entity of Tim Ho Wan Pte. Ltd. (the Master Franchisee of Tim Ho Wan in the Asia Pacific region excluding Hong Kong ); and a business venture with award-winning Chef Rick Bayless to build a Mexican fast-casual restaurant business in the United States . JFC has also recently entered into a joint venture agreement to open Panda Express in the Philippines .

Jollibee Foods Corporation has been named the Philippines’ most admired company by the Asian Wall Street Journal for eight years in a row and was honored as one of ‘ Asia’s Fab 50 Companies’ by Forbes Asia Magazine.

Jollibee Foods Corporation has grown brands that bring delightful dining experiences to its customers worldwide, in line with its mission of serving great tasting food and spreading the joy of eating to everyone.

This article is originally published by the Yahoo Finance which can be accessed online at

‘Corny’ story behind entrepreneur’s success

By Roderick T. Dela Cruz
Published online by the Manila Standard, September 14, 2019

A decade ago, Voltaire “Bong” Magpayo did not even have money to go to a dental clinic in Quezon City. When his mother-in-law lent him P500, he met not only the dentist who treated him but also someone who gave him an opportunity to launch his food cart business.

Today, Magpayo, 49, and his wife Cholly own successful food cart chains that employ more than 200 people in different cities. Sweet Corner Inc., the couple’s first food concept, is acknowledged as a model for the inclusive business franchise while Magpayo is a most distinguished alumnus in the field of Entrepreneurship at San Beda University where he obtained his Accounting degree.

The couple, who used to live in his parents’ home, now have their own in a Quezon City subdivision while their three children go to good private schools.

Sweet Corner, which sources all-natural corn from South Cotabato, has 75 food carts in shopping malls and other commercial establishments while Sumo Takoyaki, the couple’s second food concept, has another 75 outlets. They have recently ventured into the bakery business under the brand 12C4 Bread Station which currently has three stores.

His businesses have a profit margin of 30 percent to 40 percent, making them attractive franchise opportunities for others. Magpayo says he does not collect royalties from franchisees as a way to help them quickly recoup their investments.

Magpayo, who also holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific, is now a certified franchise executive bestowed by the Philippine Franchise Association and an active mentor of Go-Negosyo Philippine Center of Entrepreneurship.

Magpayo recalls growing up in a middle-income family. His parents are both public school teachers who sent him to San Beda College where he had classmates from wealthy families.

“I did not envy my rich classmates, but it served as an inspiration for me to work harder in life. If you want good things in life, you have to work for it,” Magpayo says in an interview.

“I am resourceful. I always find a way and I always try. Even when I met several failures and cried, I always persevered. I grew up in an ‘old school’ way and was trained to be strong because I am the eldest in the family,” he says.

After graduating from college, he worked for various companies and government agencies. He joined a bank for four years before migrating to General Santos City where he served as a manager of an agribusiness company. “That is where I was exposed to corn farmers because my job involved purchasing corn as a feedstock for the cattle,” he says. “I learned a lot of things in Mindanao.”

His wife Cholly is from South Cotabato which is considered the corn capital of the Philippines. She graduated from the University of San Carlos in Cebu with a degree in BS Administration and worked for a bakeshop chain.


Magpayo moved back to Manila in 2001 and became a business development officer at a government agency. “It was a job order which meant I did not enjoy employment benefits and regular status. When my boss left the government because he was co-terminus with the president, I also lost my job,” Magpayo says.

When he left the government, Magpayo had only P30,000 in savings which he did not want to touch because he was thinking of going to the US for work. Although SM approved his food cart concept, he lacked the money to pay for the security deposit to launch the business.

“I am not religious but I went to Our Lady of Antipolo and asked for a sign if I should go to America or proceed with my food cart concept,” he says.

Magpayo needed P60,000 as security deposit which was more than his total savings. “I also had young children whose studies I needed to support,” he says.


This article is originally published and written by the Manila Standard which can be accessed online at

McDonald’s takes store concept to NXTGEN level

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) – September 3, 2019 – 12:00am


McDonald's NxtGen
As the fastfood chain expands, it also expects to post double-digit growth in sales this year. AFP

MANILA, Philippines — McDonald’s Philippines is poised to close the year with over 100 NXTGEN stores in line with its aim to convert 70 percent of all stores into NXTGEN or outlets featuring self-serving kiosks and cashless payments by 2021.

As the fastfood chain expands, it also expects to post double-digit growth in sales this year.

“We will cross 100 this year (for NXTGEN stores),” McDonald’s Philippines managing director Margot Torres said in an interview. She said McDonald’s Philippines is opening NXTGEN stores to better serve customers.

“Customer experience is very important to us. Whatever we design, what new products we offer, how to improve delivery service, how to improve service from our crew and our managers, that includes also the whole service experience, the whole ordering. So, now, we’re really embracing the omnichannel mindset. Whether you are going to delivery through the app, through the website, through 86236 call or you go visit the store, go through the kiosk or drive-thru, you should have seamless experience about the brand,” she said.

In terms of total store count which covers both regular and NXTGEN stores, McDonald’s Philippines expects to have 670 outlets by yearend.

By 2021, Torres said McDonald’s Philippines would have over 700 stores.

With the expansion this year, she said McDonald’s Philippines sees sales posting double-digit growth.

The firm’s sales have been growing between 12 percent to 15 percent in the past years.

While McDonald’s Philippines’ operations faced challenges last year due to the imposition of higher excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages under the government’s tax reform program, and the high inflation rate, she said the company is on recovery mode this year.

This article is originally published and written by the Philippines Star which can be accessed online at

‘Eats More Fun’: DOT, Jollibee partner for food tourism promotion

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Published online by the Philippine News Agency, September 1, 2019

MANILA — Giving a twist to the country’s tourism slogan, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and popular food brand Jollibee have partnered to promote the unique Filipino cuisines and flavors under the new “Eats More Fun in the Philippines” campaign.

In an interview, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she is confident the campaign will boost the country’s budding food tourism.

“Filipinos, we like sweet spaghetti and fried chicken, but this campaign is not only promoting Jollibee products it’s also promoting Filipino cuisines — the adobo, lechon, and halo-halo,” she told reporters on the sidelines of the campaign launch at the Islas Pinas in Pasay Saturday.

“Whenever you travel, you travel really for food. It’s actually the biggest campaign of the DOT — Eats. More Fun in the Philippines — because you’re not only promoting the sun and beach but also the cuisine,” she added.

The food tourism campaign is a series of promotions inviting local and foreign tourists to explore the gastronomic treats the country has to offer aside from the beautiful destinations it is widely known for.

The Tourism chief said Jollibee and the DOT agreed to run the campaign for three years, which will be segmented in phases.

“This is the start and we’re now talking about the next steps on how to promote Filipino cuisine from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Jollibee funded everything,” she shared.

With this campaign, Romulo-Puyat is also optimistic that more people will have a sense of awareness about the myriad of local delicacy in the country and that each of these cuisines is unique to the region serving the food.

Jollibee Officials with DOT Sec. Bernadetter Romulo-Puyat
Secretary Romulo-Puyat together with Jollibee Food Corporation officials Ernesto Tanmantiong, Joseph Tanbuntiong, JJ Alano, and Francis Flores indulge in the Filipino boodle feast (DOT photo)

“Like the Batil Patung, what people don’t know is, each province has its own pancit, like in Tuguegarao there’s the Batil Patung, in Isabela they have the Pancit Cabagan. Even lechon, you have different kinds of it. So it’s for people to discover the different kinds of Filipino cuisine,” she said.

During the launch, DOT and Jollibee also introduced “The Pinoy’s Table”, a mini-documentary which headlines notable chefs JP Anglo, Filipino-American celebrity chef Jordan Andino, and YouTuber creator and comedian Mikey Bustos.

In the video, Anglo and Andino underlined the unique Filipino food and the dining experience that goes along with it.

“I would say that Filipino cuisine and the Filipino dining experience gives more soul than most countries,” Andino said.

“When you eat Filipino food, you taste love, family, and tradition, and that happens in every recipe, in every restaurant. Not a lot of cultures are able to do that,” he added.

Speaking about the country’s food as a fusion of flavors, Anglo invited local and foreign foodies to taste the “stand-out delicacies” Philippines has to offer.

“Our lechon is exceptional — we’re one of the countries that do the roasting technique really well. Our grilled chicken, the inasal, it is also so excellent and can definitely go against other grilled chickens in the world,” he said.

“I look up to the street vendors like the guy who’s been making batchoy for two decades in a market in Iloilo. I think we should celebrate them more and give them a venue. These guys are the real deal and as chefs, we get our inspiration from them,” he shared. (PNA)