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Archive for August, 2016

Handicrafted Ice Cream Sandwich Treats in Every Bite

Posted on: August 31st, 2016 by Francorp No Comments


A tropical country like the Philippines, whose highest recorded El Nino temperature this year rose to 52.3o C in Nueva Ecija, will always have people craving for an invigorating feeling, the kind that frozen delights can give. One of the best purveyors of cold goodies has been a brand from Cebu – Frostbites, whose main products are refreshing ice cream sandwiches. The bestseller, chocolate ice cream sandwiched by two brownie squares, never fails to elicit enthusiastic reviews from their loyal customers.


It all started when on a vacation in Singapore in 2012, Harlow Facturan, president of Frostbites, chanced upon a cart selling ice cream sandwiches along Orchard Road, just near the hotel where he stayed. When he tried it, he was hooked. He liked the taste so much that he had a sandwich twice a day for the duration of their vacation. What’s more, he thought about bringing the concept to Cebu, his hometown.


frostbite ice creamBack in the Philippines, when they uploaded a picture of the ice cream sandwiches online, their friends commented on how they missed the product and how they wished that Cebu can also have the product. After this, Harlow tried tapping companies for that special ice cream, but he was unsuccessful. These companies could not supply the bars. The problem was solved when Harlow made everything at home.


A year and a half after, the Frostbites business was launched in a small bazaar which unexpectedly gained a number of followers. After two months, mall administrators started inviting Harlow to set up Frostbites inside their shopping centers. Within one year, three (3) Frostbites outlets were opened. There are outlets in J. Centre Mall, Parkmall, I.T. Park Bazaar, all in Cebu. In Metro Manila, Frostbites products are available in San Dionisio, Paranaque City.


Today, Harlow makes sure that every customer gets a positively unforgettable experience every time they consume a mouthwatering ice cream sandwich. For one, the sandwiches can be customized. First, the customer chooses from the 10 flavors – cookies and cream and mango cheesecake are the topnotchers. Second, choose the bun – will it be brownies, cookies, cakes, bread, wafers or crackers? Favorites are chocolate chip cookies or wafer, red velvet cake, and tiramisu. Harlow has decided to take the franchising route to expansion thus making more ice cream lovers happier. More franchisees too will be glad with this refreshing franchise.


Franchise inquiries are entertained at 0922-8400980 or

The Frostbites franchise is proudly developed by Francorp Philippines and it’s team of international franchise development consultants. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise! 

Growing the Franchise Industry: The Philippine Experience

Posted on: August 24th, 2016 by Francorp No Comments

image_ growing the franchising industry

I come from a family of retailers and by natural progression ended up working for the family business. Our appliance retailing business was founded in 1948 making us a pioneer in the industry. When I was given the opportunity to manage our family business, I transformed it into a chain of lifestyle stores selling appliances, furniture, and other home accessories.

Majority of Philippine retailing, however, at the time was characterized by traditional shop-houses.

With my background and track record in the retail industry, I was elected President of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), which I co-founded with the objective of modernizing Philippine retailing.

This goal of modernizing Philippine retailing was given the stimulus when I championed the hosting of the Asia Pacific Retailers Conference and Expo (APRCE) in 1993. During that time, we invited the best retailers in the world and learned from what they shared that there was still much room for improvement for Philippine retailing.

I am proud to say that because of that pioneering effort to steer a new direction for the Philippine retailing industry, our country now boasts of a sophisticated retail network with 4 Philippine malls included in the top 10 biggest malls in the world.

But not the type to rest on my laurels, I continued to look for other ways to revolutionize the retailing industry in our country. Then, in several conferences I attended abroad, I discovered that as much as 50% of small , yet successful, retail stores are under the franchising model.

This discovery inspired me to promote franchising as a strategy to create thousands of small enterprises and millions of jobs and thus stimulate economic growth. And so in 1995, I co-founded the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) together with my colleagues in Francorp Philippines, Bing Sibal-Limjoco and Manny Siggaoat.

Before the founding of PFA, there were only 45 franchises in the Philippines. But with the founding of PFA, franchising grew at a rapid rate that today, we already have 1,500 franchise brands – both homegrown and foreign – making us the leading franchise industry in the ASEAN region. How did this happen?

At this point, please allow me to share our strategy in growing the Philippine franchise industry. We are sharing this because we consider Myanmar a brother and we want you to make the most of franchising and make it work for your economy and your people. This is, after all, the vision of the ASEAN Economic Community – to have an ASEAN where there is equitable economic growth for all member nations.

Earlier, I said that the Philippines was second only to Japan in terms of economic growth. Not only that, there was a time when the Philippines was one of the most respected nations in Asia and even the world. In fact, we have produced some of the world’s greatest statesmen just like your very own U Thant.

That was back in my youth and whenever I’m in other countries, I was amazed at how people would go out of their way to speak to me just because I am a Filipino. This was the time when many of our Asian neighbors would go to the Philippines to study and learn from the best schools.

But then we became the sick man of Asia and I dreamt of making my country retrieve its pride and give it a fighting chance in a fast changing world. Then I saw that franchising can help achieve this vision because of its ability to create businesses and jobs; because of its ability to create wealth. But then a dream will continue to remain a dream unless there is a plan.

image _ ceremony


The first thing we did was to prepare a 300 plus-page master plan to unleash the power of franchising. This master plan conceptualized a 15-year, 3-phase agenda to grow the food, retail, and service sectors of the industry. The first 5 years was allocated to developing the food sector, followed by the retail sector for another 5 years, and capped by another 5-year growth program for the service sector. Having successfully finished our 15-year plan, we are now on our 2nd cycle of franchise development for the next 15 yrs. I can discuss this with you in some future conference, if you are interested.


Yes, we had a plan but we also realized that we need help from those who were more advanced or ahead of us. So we invited the best minds in the industry to give talks during our annual conferences. We organized business missions and visited the best franchise shows in the world to benchmark with and draw inspiration from them.


Closely related to this, we forged international linkages to sustain our intentions to learn the latest best practices in global franchising as well as help open opportunities for the international expansion of Philippine franchise brands. We became a member of the World Franchise Council (WFC) and a founding member of the Asia Pacific Franchise Confederation (APFC).

Today, we are a key player in global franchising. We are proud that PFA, represented by myself and Ms. Limjoco, has been elected to be part of the WFC working committee tasked to create programs that will further advance the agenda of global franchising. On top of this, PFA was also appointed to be the Secretariat of APFC as it intensifies its efforts to bring franchising in Asia Pacific to new horizons.


Another important thing we did was to professionalize the industry by bringing in the Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) program to the Philippines in September 2001. The CFE program, which is a mini- MBA course, is the only internationally-recognized development program for franchise executives. We are proud to say that the Philippines has the most number of CFE graduates in Asia. But we are more proud that this program has been instrumental in growing the franchising industry in the Philippines.

This is also the reason why it has been attracting enrollees from other countries in Asia and even the Middle East.
We must have done something right because I, or my fellow founding trustees of PFA like Ms. Limjoco and Mr. Siggaoat, have been invited to represent the Philippines or Asia in various conferences, forums, symposiums across the globe to talk about the Philippine experience in franchising.


Lastly, but definitely not the least, a very important key in growing the Philippine franchise industry was introducing franchising to SMEs. We all know that SMEs are the backbone of every economy. There is a concern, however, that most SMEs – especially in less advanced economies – provide very little or even no value added services. Because of this, SMEs remain SMEs forever.

Franchising, however, has the power to upgrade the capacities of SMEs – whether in branding, business methods, marketing and others. Franchising has the capability to make SMEs grow big. Before PFA introduced franchising to SMEs, franchising was a business model reserved for multi-national and large corporations. This is the reason why franchising hardly made a dent in the economy. Things started to change when PFA encouraged SMEs to use franchising as a strategy to grow. Since then, growing big was no longer an impossible dream for SMEs.

We will be more than happy to share in detail with our Myanmar brothers our experience in growing the Philippine franchising sector. Before I end my speech, I would like to share with you an ideal which I have nurtured since my youth. I realize that in order to have a meaningful life, one must seek one’s higher calling. This higher calling for me is to be of service to the most number of people. Franchising, which has created about 140,000 franchise outlets and generated more than a million jobs in our country, has helped fulfill this ideal. It is my sincere wish that this will also happen to your country.




Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise!

Franchise Talk: Bringing the Feast from Cebu to the World

Posted on: August 19th, 2016 by Francorp No Comments

By Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines



With a target of reaching 100 stores both locally and internationally, Hukad sa Golden Cowrie has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Cebu in 1982. Kenneth Kokseng, Managing Director of Hukad sa Golden Cowrie shares some insights on what it takes to grow a brand nationally through franchising.


1. With over 40 restaurants across the Visayas and Mindanao, Hukad sa Golden Cowrie continues to expand at an accelerated pace. What’s the secret to your success?

There is no secret to our success. What brought us to where we are right now is how we value not just our customers but also our partners — every one we work with and who have contributed to the growth of the business from our franchisees, suppliers and staff, among others. We always believe in empowering our team and working together to give customers food that is consistent in quality and service that aims to delight for a dining experience that is memorable each and every time. Most of all, we communicate with and listen by heart. We listen  to the needs of our customers and partners, their needs and recommendations, foster a culture and environment of trust and confidence and treat them as part of our family. We in still a non-traditional way of doing and getting things done in a fast and efficient way.


2. The F&B market is very busy with both foreign and local brands expanding, what do you think will make Hukad sa Golden Cowrie successful in Metro Manila?

Golden Cowrie has proven its success in the Visayas and Mindanao. I’m confident that with the dishes and experience we offer combined with excellent customer service, we can be successful in Manila as well. What we offer is something close to the hearts of all the Filipinos.

We have studied the market and in order to be competitive, we are looking at adjusting the menu offerings a bit and developing a marketing strategy that would best target the clientele we are eyeing in Manila. A plus factor for us is having franchisees that share the same set of values and principles that we have.


3. You started your franchise expansion in the Visayas & Mindanao, why did you wait until 2016 to expand into Metro Manila?

There is wisdom in increasing one’s fence and sphere of influence slowly but surely. In our case, it took us some time to position Hukad sa Golden Cowrie, Golden Cowrie’s mall-based restaurant, in strategic locations around the Visayas and Mindanao. We learned a lot from the experiences of franchising the business. With the right locations, this year, 2016, is the right time to penetrate the untapped areas of Luzon.

4. We’ve been seeing more and more brands from Cebu and other regions expand through franchising, what are some pieces of advice you can give to entrepreneurs from Visayas & Mindanao who want to expand through franchising?

Choose business partners that share the same set of values, principles and goals with the company. Be the right fit for one another. This way, conflicts that hinder growth can be avoided and both parties can work together and focus on expanding the business.


5. You developed and grew the brand in Cebu, what do you think sets the Cebuano customer& market apart and how will this help as you expand?

Each dish has a story to tell. Golden Cowrie started with a simple menu in a charming, breezy eatery made of bamboo and sawali, which are woven split bamboo mats and has evolved into what it is today, 33 years after. Our brand is not just your typical Filipino restaurant. It is reminiscent of Filipino celebrations where family and friends come together to share festive moments. Ask a typical Cebuano where he celebrates birthdays, reunions or any special occasion, or even where to take a balikbayan or a non-Cebuano friend and the answer is always Golden Cowrie. More than a brand it is a restaurant they have grown up with and through the years, and after so many special occasions celebrated with us, our customers, who span many generations, still continue to come back.



Proudly developed by Francorp Philippines and it’s team of international franchise development consultants. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise! 


Franchise Talk: How Successful Franchisors Think

Posted on: August 13th, 2016 by Francorp No Comments

By Joselito G. Samson, CFE


thinkAs a franchise consultant, I have met and talked to a lot of entrepreneurs who have varying thoughts about franchising and what it can do for their business. And for those whom I have seen succeed because they chose the franchising path, these are their characteristics which made them stand out:


Knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses.

These successful franchisors know and then acknowledge that, indeed, they have strengths and weaknesses. Fully knowing what their core competence is, they are open to delegating tasks in areas where they are weak. Franchising to them is a unique industry that requires specific expertise to plan out and build the right organizational structures. At the outset, these entrepreneurs understand the value of getting things right.


Passion for teaching

Franchise entrepreneurs like to share their successes via teaching or mentoring their Franchisees. This trait is critical to building a long-term and mutually satisfying franchisor-franchisee relationship that is based on trust, exchange of ideas, openness to suggestions and yes, replicating the successful business model. More than the documents that bind franchisor-to-franchisee, a harmonious relationship will ensure a fruitful and profitable partnership, especially because franchisee suggestions/feedbacks, when coursed through the franchising system, are valuable listening posts for customer feedbacks and preference.


man backAbility to see the big picture.

One of the biggest mistaken notions that entrepreneurs have when embarking into franchising is thinking about the business as costing very little effort and money but returning huge paybacks.

On the contrary, franchising requires thorough study, needing, at the very least, a Franchise Business Plan, Franchise Agreement and a Franchise Operations Manual. Setting up a Franchise System is meticulous and will require additional investment. A potential Franchisor must assess his current company structure, cost structures, operations, training capabilities and supply chain to determine if it can handle additional operating units generated from selling franchises.

As for the “huge payback”, this will not be realized on the first, or even, on the second year of the franchise offering. During these times, you are still developing efficiencies as a franchisor, putting in place your franchise support systems and are still learning the ropes of managing the system. What you will get during these stages of development is an increase in the number of branches/stores as well as sales volume generated from newly opened franchised units.


Franchisors should also give careful thought about selecting and awarding franchises. A franchise term is usually from three to eight years, it is crucial that you get the “right franchisee” since they will be your “partner” in growth. Therefore, it is in your best interest to ensure that they too experience profitability and success. Eventually, they will be your best selling proposition.

Franchising is an effective strategy for companies who looking to expand their business. But having the right mindset as a Franchisor will dictate whether you will be a success or a failure in Franchising. An honest assessment of one’s mindset and objective will spell the difference between failure and success.

Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise! 

For more information on franchising, please contactFrancorp Philippines (+632) 638-3149, email info[at] or visit   

Lito is the Associate Vice President for Consulting of Francorp Philippines ( His training and experience in the field of fast food operations cover 15 years, starting with McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Burger Machine and Jollibee. He is a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and is a certified Serv Safe Executive.

FranchiseTalk: Jamaican Grill eyes PH to be first foreign market

Posted on: August 12th, 2016 by Francorp No Comments

The Guam-based barbecue restaurant chain wins over OFW market with its jerk chicken and pork ribs.


When you think of Jamaica, what usually comes to mind? For most, it’s usually breathtaking beaches, reggae music, and the dreadlocked Bob Marley. However, Jamaica is also home to a diverse cuisine with Spanish, British, African, and Indian influences.

Jamaica’s “jerk” style of cooking, where meat is dry-rubbed with a hot spice mixture then grilled, has been known the world over thanks to the popularity of jerk chicken and pork ribs. Inevitably, love for “jerk” barbecued meat and reggae music found its way among the people of the island of Guam.

The “fusion cuisine” of Jamaica and Guam, coupled with the communal enjoyment of reggae music, inspired the creation of Jamaican Grill in December 8, 1994. “All it took was small samples of jerk chicken and ribs to get them in the door,” recalled Frank Kenney, president of Jamaican Grill Restaurants.

After 22 successful years in Guam, Kenney believes that it is about time to introduce Jamaican Grill to the rest of the world, setting his sights on the Philippines as the barbecue restaurant chain’s first foreign market.


Jamaican Grill: Tried and tested by an overseas Filipino market

For Kenney, its proximity and the socio-cultural similarities with Guam makes the Philippines a great next market for Jamaican Grill. And since it opened in 1994, the restaurant chain has served a sizable overseas Filipino market—around 35% of Guam’s population is made up of Filipinos. Needless to say, Jamaican Grill is a concept that has been market-tested on Filipinos, even before it reaches our shores!

“Our Filipino guests insist that Jamaican Grill would work well in the Philippines,” noted Kenney. Its main menu offerings—composed mainly of grilled chicken, roast pork, and fish—are considered staple foods for most Filipinos. And to better cater to its overseas Filipino customers, Jamaican Grill has adjusted its menu to include local fare such as adobo ribs and tuna sisig. “There is no other restaurant company that takes the best island flavors of Jamaica, Guam, and the Philippines to create exciting taste combinations that are totally unique,” added Kenney.

However, the fusion of cultures is not only existent in Jamaican Grill’s menu offerings, but also in its restaurant design—featured fruits and store furniture imported from Philippines lend the restaurant a deft Filipino touch. “The carefully thought out design of our interiors result in an ambiance that appears bright, colorful, and theme-oriented, which showcases our one-of-a-kind island barbecue concept,” said Kenney.


Franchising: The key to Jamaican Grill’s global growth

Kenney believes that franchising is the key to push Jamaican Grill on a global growth, starting with the Philippines and its neighboring Asia-Pacific nations. Currently, he is on the lookout for the right franchise partner, who can then localize Jamaican Grill to better suit the Philippine market.

“We made this decision cautiously and deliberately after years of traveling back and forth to the Philippines, consulting with industry experts, conducting market research and product sourcing before making the final decision to move forward,” explained Kenney.

However, Kenney also acknowledges that Jamaican Grill’s success with the overseas Filipino market in Guam might not equate to success in the Philippines. “It will take much hard work and dedication, supporting our potential franchisee in a way that will reduce the risks associated with the venture,” he added.

“We believe in Jamaican Grill, and we believe in the Philippines as well. Lord willing, there is a fit here. And if both parties mutually live up to their responsibilities, the result could prove quite lucrative in the years to come,” concluded Kenney.

Hungry for more: Is there still room for food brands in the Philippines?

Posted on: August 10th, 2016 by Francorp No Comments

Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines


Let’s face it, Filipinos love to eat.

eatingIt’s a relationship that goes deeper than infatuation: for most Filipinos, eating is a celebration of life itself. But it can be a crazy and expensive love affair sometimes—on average, a typical Filipino eats around four to five times daily. And given the growing number of food businesses in recent years, from casual dining restaurants to small-scale food cart concepts, one can safely say that it’s a love affair that has influenced even the country’s economy. But even with this growth, is there still room to grow for the local food industry?


Room to grow

Economists have pointed out that the Philippines’ predominantly young demographic with disposable incomes bodes well for local food businesses. But another way of looking at it is to compare our local food industry with that of our Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) neighbors. For example, there are around 32,166 food establishments in Singapore, which only has a population of 5.5 million—this means that there are only 171 people for every food establishment. On the other hand, Thailand has 498 people for every food establishment, while Vietnam has 159.


The Philippines still has a lot of room to grow given its current ratio of 785 people for every food establishment—just by mirroring the ratio of Thailand, the Philippines would already have the potential to grow the number of its food establishments by 40 percent.


Making way for foreign food brands

Alongside this growth of local food concepts also comes the arrival of numerous foreign food brands. In recent years, delegates from South Korea, Japan, the United States, and Europe have visited the country to promote food brands which have set their sights on the Philippines. Through these visits, these delegates can also meet potential franchisees, which will be their partners in setting up the food business in the country.

Denny’s, a famous food brand from the United States, has been working on its launch in the Philippines since late 2015. More recently, a trade exhibit has also been held to promote Japanese food brands which want to enter the Philippine market.


Break into the food business via franchising

For any entrepreneur who wants to break into the food business, franchising a foreign food brand is a great starting point, as it already brings with it scalability and international standards. If a food entrepreneur really wants to dominate the market segment and have leadership positioning in the concept, then he should really opt for an international franchise brand and plan to grow the business in the local market. The question now is, which food brand should you consider?


The search for an international food brand to franchise can be tricky and elusive. “Selecting a concept is a strategic decision. You have to consider your company’s strengths to make sure you can leverage on the international standards,” says Hsien Naidu, director of Singapore-based management consulting company Astreem Consulting Pte. Ltd.


Food entrepreneurs are also advised to learn international standards and immerse themselves in a community of reputable international franchise experts, as this can also introduce them to the various foreign food brands which want to set up shop in the Philippines.


Just last February, U-Franchise Sales and Management, in partnership with Astreem Consulting Singapore, held a three-day showcase of the best foreign food franchises available on the market. The event was held not just to bring international standards to the local food, education, and retail market, but also to create value for entrepreneurs and the local business community. Guests learned the best practices of some of the biggest brands from Singapore, such as Pasta Mania, Pet Lovers Centre, Han’s Cafe, Tenderfresh, and Manhattan Fish Market.


Events like these are held regularly to give local entrepreneurs practical insights on which foreign brands will be suitable for the Philippine market, and how international brands can help turn Filipino entrepreneurs into industry leaders.