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Archive for January, 2017

8 Filipino Franchises That Have Gone Global

Posted on: January 13th, 2017 by Francorp No Comments

8 Filipino franchises that have gone global
These global franchise brands make us proud to be Pinoy.

Written by
Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines
The Philippines is home to more than 1,500 franchise brands. On average, they can earn up to $11 billion in combined annual sales. No wonder the Philippines is now also recognized as “the franchise development hub of Asia,” home to unique franchise brands which are not only leaving their mark in the region but also all over the world.

Here are just eight homegrown franchise brands which are bringing their distinctly Pinoy products and services to the world. Which one is your favorite?

1. Potato Corner

This homegrown flavored French fries concept has indeed gone a long way from its humble kiosk beginnings in 1992. Potato Corner started shaking up the global franchise market back in 2006 when it opened its first overseas branch in Indonesia.

Since then, Potato Corner has introduced its now iconic flavored French fries to around 30 countries, which include Malaysia, Panama, the United States, Australia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand, among others. Today, Potato Corner has over 550 stores, 90 of which are located in overseas markets, and has plans of setting up shop in China, Mexico, and Spain.

2. Jollibee

Jollibee can now lay claim to the phrase “world-famous Chickenjoy.” From its humble beginnings as an ice cream parlor and hamburger joint back in 1975, Jollibee is now not only the largest fast-food chain in the Philippines, but is also an emerging global quick-service restaurant player.

It now has a network of more than 900 stores in the Philippines, and more than 135 stores overseas which are located in the United States, Vietnam, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, among other countries. And as if that’s not enough, Jollibee is poised for further international growth; this year, it is set to open an additional 100 stores overseas, most of which will be located in China. The fast-food chain is also planning to set up shop in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom by 2017.

3. Goldilocks

This beloved bakeshop, whose dedication cakes and tasty pastries serve as an important addition to any family celebration, continue to strengthen its local and international presence even after 50 years.

Goldilocks opened its first branch overseas back in 1976, located in Los Angeles, California. Since then, Goldilocks has expanded to other major cities in the United States and now has 22 stores located in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and San Diego, among other cities. Aside from the United States, Goldilocks now also has two stores in Canada and six stores in Thailand.

4. Max’s Restaurant

“The house that fried chicken built” is fast building a global presence thanks to its sumptuous and distinctly Filipino fried chicken recipe. Founded in 1945, fresh off the second World War, Max’s Restaurant initially served fried chicken, steak, and drinks, but has since expanded its menu to include other Filipino food favorites.

It established its overseas presence in the United States as early as 1982. Since then, it has also opened locations in Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Australia. Today, Max’s Restaurant has more than 146 branches in the Philippines, and more than 20 branches overseas.

5. Yellow Cab Pizza
Bet you initially thought that this New York-style pizza joint is actually, well, from New York. Yellow Cab is, indeed, a homegrown pizza-and-pasta restaurant which opened in 2001 with one goal in mind: to share a slice of New York-style pizza goodness to every Filipino. Yellow Cab’s signature pizzas and pastas are also delivered to homes and offices using its iconic yellow Vespa scooters.

Today, Yellow Cab spreads this love for New York-style pizza through its network of 130 branches nationwide. It has also set up shop in the United States, Guam, Malaysia, and the Middle East, with six franchised outlets in Qatar and one outlet in the United Arab Emirates. Plans are also underway to open flagship stores in China, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore by 2017.


From a small store selling men’s t-shirts in 1987, BENCH/ has grown into a global fashion powerhouse whose product line has since expanded to include undergarments, footwear, fragrances, and snacks, among other lifestyle products.

Today, the BENCH/ clothing and lifestyle store has over 186 branches in the Philippines, and remains the go-to source for affordable yet on-trend fashion pieces among Filipinos. It also has more than 85 branches overseas, spread across more than 22 countries including the United States, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Singapore, among others, and recently opened a flagship store in Myanmar.

7. Oryspa
Who knew that you can make something beautiful out of “darak” or rice bran, a byproduct of the rice-milling process which is often used as pig feed? Oryspa, a homegrown beauty company from Laguna, is the first to use rice bran as a base for its health and beauty products. This includes soaps, body masks, pain relief balms, and massage oils, among other products.

Today, Oryspa promotes natural Asian beauty through its 23 branches nationwide. And even though its products are already being exported to different countries in Asia and Europe, and sold worldwide through various online merchants, Oryspa has also already set up two physical stores in Singapore.

8. Bibingkinitan

Thanks to Bibingkinitan, Filipinos can now enjoy smaller portions of “bibingka,” a traditional rice cake usually served during the Christmas season, all year round. The name Bibingkinitan is a mix of “bibingka” and the Filipino term “balingkinitan,” which means small or petite, a clear nod to the smaller serving size of the famed rice cake.

Today, after 10 years in the business, Bibingkinitan wants to share with the rest of the world this well-loved Filipino delicacy. In time for its tenth anniversary, Bibingkinitan opened its first outlet in Dubai, followed by another outlet in Qatar. Plans are also underway to open a flagship store in Abu Dhabi, as well as in other countries rife with overseas Filipino communities such as Guam, China, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Think you are ready to grow your business globally through franchising? Francorp Philippines has developed professional franchise programs for hundreds of brands which accelerated their national and international growth. To know if your business is ready to franchise, take a free franchisability test, visit , or call (02) 638-3149.


Sam Christopher Lim is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy at franchise consultancy Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales & Management; and chairperson and director for special projects for Asean integration at the Philippine Franchise Association.

All photos from the featured companies’ official websites and Facebook pages.

Duterte’s state visits: What does it really mean for entrepreneurs?

Posted on: January 6th, 2017 by Francorp No Comments

From Separation to Agenda Zero, opportunities are plentiful for the knowledgeable entrepreneur 

Written by
Sam Christopher Lim
SVP for Marketing and Strategy, Francorp Philippines

President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte recently had state visits to China and Japan, with the intent of strengthening our economic ties with these two nations. Japan, after all, remains the largest source of foreign direct investments and the largest export market of the Philippines, according to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), together with other organizations from the local business community, had the privilege of sending delegates in these much-awaited state visits, myself included. Although there have been a lot of articles written on Duterte’s more controversial statements, I wanted to leave behind politics and focus on the impact of various policy statements on entrepreneurs and on the franchise industry.

  1. Increased infrastructure spending

In the Japanese Economic Forum with over 1,000 Japanese and Filipino businessmen, key cabinet members focused on plans to increase infrastructure spending from an average of about 3% of GDP in the previous administration to 5% to 7% in the coming years. In light with this increase, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno sees infrastructure spending reaching P7 trillion over the next five years. Duterte even brought up the possibility of partnering with Japan & China for the development of key infrastructure, such as tapping their expertise for large-scale railway projects and other modern public transportation.

Better infrastructure can only mean that for entrepreneurs, this is a perfect time to start planning your expansion outside the urban centers of Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao into other cities and provinces. Franchise brands can continue to tap franchisees in this location now that their commissaries or logistics infrastructure can more easily access secondary and tertiary cities. In addition, tourism related businesses from hotels, restaurants and tourism schools can expect improved business as infrastructure allows better access to local tourists.

  1. “Separation” from the United States

Duterte also announced a new foreign policy which entails economic and military separation from the Philippines’ long-time ally, the United States. Beyond the politically-charged implications of this move, what Duterte simply aims to do is pivot our focus towards Asia and strengthen the economic partnerships between East Asian and Southeast Asian regions.

These strategic partnerships and closer ties with neighboring Asian countries will also bode well for the regional and global expansion of our local businesses. Entrepreneurs can look at getting master franchises of key Japanese and Chinese brands while looking at these markets as potential jump off points to grow your businesses. More importantly, with Duterte visiting other ASEAN neighbors and the Philippine playing host to ASEAN in 2017, Philippine brands can start looking beyond the 100M consumers in the Philippines to the over 600M consumers in our ASEAN neighbors.
2. Agenda Zero – Drugs & Criminality

Agenda Zero, or Duterte’s all-out war on drugs and criminality, was also one of the key points raised during his state visits. Duterte said that the Philippines is “a nation of drug addicts,” with more than 4 million reported drug addicts all over the country. There have been numerous deaths in light of Duterte’s war on drugs; the Philippine National Police said that it has already resulted in more than 3,000 deaths.

But Agenda Zero has also resulted in an unprecedented boom for certain businesses. It has been reported that funeral and memorial services have seen a 300% growth in sales due to Duterte’s crackdown on drugs. Drug rehabilitation centers are also seen to boom in light of Agenda Zero, as thousands of former drug users have also chosen to surrender and turn over a new leaf. Franchising can help these businesses expand further using other people’s time, money and organization while keeping the same quality service.

3. Improved competitiveness through lower tax rates, ease of doing business

Duterte also highlighted the administration’s plan to lower income tax rates from the current 32% to 25%; by next year, plans are also underway to lower corporate income tax from 30% to 25%. This tax reform package is part of an economic plan that can sustain a 7% economic growth until 2040, as well as cut down the poverty rate from the current 26% to 17% by 2022.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also presented economic policies that can boost business in the country. One of these policies is the game plan for competitiveness, which in turn includes ease of doing business. Not only will the trade department monitor different competitiveness indicators and implement actions to ensure national competitiveness, but it will also remove certain layers of policies complicate the process of setting up businesses.

This will hopefully create an improved environment for would-be franchisees by making it easier to open a new business and franchise new brands.

4. Repatriating OFWs

On an uplifting note, Duterte also announced to the Filipino community in Japan that he envisions that this generation of Filipino families will be the last generation that needs to send their loved ones overseas to find work.

In light with this, investing in a franchise can serve as a viable alternative to overseas employment. For returning OFWs (overseas Filipino workers), a franchise can also be a viable fallback or investment for their retirement years. Local franchise entrepreneurs can capitalize on this by working with OFWs to find franchise brands that can help them create long term income for them and their families.

For more information about franchising, contact Francorp Philippines at (02) 638-3149, email, or visit


Sam Christopher Lim is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy at franchise consultancy Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales &Management; and chairperson for ASEAN and director for special projects at the Philippine Franchise Association.

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