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