Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines
Francorp - The Franchising Leader in the Philippines

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FranchiseTalk: Jamaican Grill eyes PH to be first foreign market

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.

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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.

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BENCH

Beginning in 1987 with a small store selling men’s t-shirts, Bench has grown to include a ladies’ line, underwear, fragrances, house wares, snacks, and a wide array of other lifestyle products, with the distinction of being present in virtually every retail space in the Philippines, and with a worldwide network of stores and outlets, reaching as far as the United States, the Middle East, and China. There are a total of 678 stores nationwide. Spreading out its wings has been continuous owning to the viable franchise partners they choose – people who really understand business and are knowledgeable about the same industry. “It was Francorp,” according to Mr. Chan, “who legitimized and gave credibility to the business concept of the Bench franchise. Francorp & its team of franchise consultants also helped professionalize the franchising industry.”

To boost Bench’s growth, it pioneered in the use of celebrity endorsers, television and giant billboards to create awareness for a fashion brand that offers premium quality products at affordable prices.

Ben Chan is the man behind the Bench brand, founder of what is now the Philippines’ largest clothing chain, under Suyen Corporation. His style is world class fashion and his work ethics impeccable, after learning the definition of “hardworking” from his Chinese forebears.

Because of his vision and aggressive but strategic moves, he has expanded the Philippine clothing chain into international markets. Bench is in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia; Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xian, China; Kuwait; Bahrain; and Los Angeles, California.

To learn more about how to franchise your business both in the Philippines and internationally, attend a How to Franchise Your Business Seminar or take a free franchisability quiz.

 

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Top Franchising Trends in 2015

TOP FRANCHISING TRENDS in the Philippines 2015
Noel Siggaoat
Managing Director
Francorp Philippines

At Francorp, we live and breathe franchises. Day in and day out, we help start-up and established businesses grow from one to many through franchising. In the course of doing franchise consultancy work for close to twenty years now, Francorp has been at the forefront of the latest trends in franchising in the Philippines. Below are the top three trends that will impact the Philippine franchise landscape in the next year or two, and beyond.

1. The Boom in Education Franchises

Education franchises have been around for many years now but in the last year or so, we’ve seen an explosion of education businesses opening their doors to franchising. In this category are pre-schools, math programs (computational or analytical), reading enrichment programs, professional review schools, specialty skills schools, to name a few. The origins of these concepts are both foreign and homegrown.

The demand for education in all its forms is a good sign for a country like the Philippines as it gains momentum towards developed-country status in the next decade or so. Another explanation for the growth in schools is the growing number of parents who don’t mind spending on development programs for their children, believing that these are complementary to formal education and will contribute to the child’s overall development. Of course, the growing young population is an important driver of demand for this segment.

This increasing demand for education makes enterprising Filipinos go into the education business as start-up entrepreneurs or as franchisees.

Recent Francorp clients in this category are the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (CTHI), Aloha Arithmetic, Readsmart Learning Center (formerly Infant Jesus Montessori), Explorations Pre-School, Mathemagis Singapore Math, and CMA Mental Arithmetic.

2. Use of franchising to reduce distribution layers

The traditional franchisor is the retail store or restaurant owner who goes into franchising to increase his number of branches. We are seeing a new breed of franchisors: Original manufacturers or master distributors going into franchising to reduce their distribution layers.

The Generics Pharmacy is one of the first to adopt this strategy. Instead of staying with the traditional system of supplying to distributors, who then supply to other distributors, or to stores and retailers, many manufacturers and master distributors are reducing the distribution channel by putting up their own stores directly and making these available through franchising.

Instead of being at the mercy of third-party retailers at the end the channel, these brand owners or master suppliers are controlling their own destiny by specifying how the store will look, how the products are marketed, and even the price at which these products are sold to the end consumer.

By cutting out the middle man, brand owners are able to lower the retail price of their products. Additionally, they are able to increase margins for those that remain in the channel.

Francorp clients who have adopted this strategy aside from The Generics Pharmacy are PR Gaz Haus, and Holcim Cement.

3. More complex franchise formats

For many years, franchise formats in the Philippines were the garden-variety Single Unit franchise. As the franchise industry becomes more mature, more innovative and complex formats are being employed.

Franchisors are now looking to add multi-unit formats like Area Development franchises and Master franchises to their offerings. Area Development franchisees are wholesale multi-unit owners who are given exclusivity for a city or province. Master Franchisees usually own the rights to an entire state or country and also have the option to sub-franchise to third-party investors. This is commonly used for international expansion.

Some franchisors are also offering Conversion Franchises, where independent store owners already in a similar business convert their stores and become part of the franchisor’s brand and network. Some franchisors go into Joint Ventures with their franchisees and are part-owners of the franchise store. In this set-up, they earn as a franchisor and a franchisee at the same time. Some franchisors, on the other hand, intentionally look for passive franchisees who are only interested in putting up the capital for the franchise unit; the franchisor himself will manage the franchise for an additional fee.

As franchising continues to grow in the Philippines, we may see more of these newer and innovative formats to meet the needs, capabilities, and goals of franchisors and franchisees.

Noel Siggaoat is the Managing Director of Francorp Philippines. An MBA graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), he heads the firm’s consultancy practice. Noel has a diverse background in IT, finance, retailing, and franchising and has worked with companies here and abroad. He is a weekend athlete who has completed marathons, a half-Ironman, and other endurance events.

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Franchising Continues To Grow New Industries

Noel Siggaoat
Managing Director
Francorp Philippines

At Francorp, we live and breathe franchises. Day in and day out, we help start-up and established businesses grow from one to many through franchising. In the course of doing franchise consultancy work for close to twenty years now, Francorp has been at the forefront of the latest trends in franchising in the Philippines. Below are the top three trends that will impact the Philippine franchise landscape in the next year or two, and beyond.

1. The Boom in Education Franchises

Education franchises have been around for many years now but in the last year or so, we’ve seen an explosion of education businesses opening their doors to franchising. In this category are pre-schools, math programs (computational or analytical), reading enrichment programs, professional review schools, specialty skills schools, to name a few. The origins of these concepts are both foreign and homegrown.

The demand for education in all its forms is a good sign for a country like the Philippines as it gains momentum towards developed-country status in the next decade or so. Another explanation for the growth in schools is the growing number of parents who don’t mind spending on development programs for their children, believing that these are complementary to formal education and will contribute to the child’s overall development. Of course, the growing young population is an important driver of demand for this segment.

This increasing demand for education makes enterprising Filipinos go into the education business as start-up entrepreneurs or as franchisees. Brands such as the Canadian Tourism and Hospitality Institute (CTHI), Aloha Arithmetic, Readsmart Learning Center (formerly Infant Jesus Montessori), Explorations Pre-School, Mathemagis Singapore Math, and CMA Mental Arithmetic have all started to franchise.

2. Use of franchising to reduce distribution layers

The traditional franchisor is the retail store or restaurant owner who goes into franchising to increase his number of branches. We are seeing a new breed of franchisors: Original manufacturers or master distributors going into franchising to reduce their distribution layers.

The Generics Pharmacy is one of the first to adopt this strategy. Instead of staying with the traditional system of supplying to distributors, who then supply to other distributors, or to stores and retailers, many manufacturers and master distributors are reducing the distribution channel by putting up their own stores directly and making these available through franchising.

Instead of being at the mercy of third-party retailers at the end the channel, these brand owners or master suppliers are controlling their own destiny by specifying how the store will look, how the products are marketed, and even the price at which these products are sold to the end consumer.

By cutting out the middle man, brand owners are able to lower the retail price of their products. Additionally, they are able to increase margins for those that remain in the channel.

Aside from The Generics Pharmacy, Francorp has helped develop brands such as PR Gaz Haus, and Holcim Cement to grow through franchising.

3. More complex franchise formats

For many years, franchise formats in the Philippines were the garden-variety Single Unit franchise. As the franchise industry becomes more mature, more innovative and complex formats are being employed.

Franchisors are now looking to add multi-unit formats like Area Development franchises and Master franchises to their offerings. Area Development franchisees are wholesale multi-unit owners who are given exclusivity for a city or province. Master Franchisees usually own the rights to an entire state or country and also have the option to sub-franchise to third-party investors. This is commonly used for international expansion.

Some franchisors are also offering Conversion Franchises, where independent store owners already in a similar business convert their stores and become part of the franchisor’s brand and network. Some franchisors go into Joint Ventures with their franchisees and are part-owners of the franchise store. In this set-up, they earn as a franchisor and a franchisee at the same time. Some franchisors, on the other hand, intentionally look for passive franchisees who are only interested in putting up the capital for the franchise unit; the franchisor himself will manage the franchise for an additional fee.

As franchising continues to grow in the Philippines, we may see more of these newer and innovative formats to meet the needs, capabilities, and goals of franchisors and franchisees.

Franchise Talk is a content partnership of ABS-CBNNews.com with Francorp Philippines. For more on master franchising & to meet foreign franchise brands, attend the How to Franchise Your Business Seminar on Jun 13 & 14 at Franchise Asia 2015 in SMX Convention Center Mall of Asia. For more information contact franchisetalk@francorp.com.ph or visit www.francorp.com.ph for more information.

Noel Siggaoat is the Managing Director of Francorp Philippines. An MBA graduate of the Carnegie Mellon University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), he heads the firm’s consultancy practice. Noel has a diverse background in IT, finance, retailing, and franchising and has worked with companies here and abroad. He is a weekend athlete who has completed marathons, a half-Ironman, and other endurance events.

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Emerging Trends in Franchising

By Sam Christopher Lim
Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

The secret to choosing a good franchise is finding businesses that are in sunrise industries. But choosing industries that are addressing long term trends and needs and not just short term fads is challenging even for the most experienced entrepreneurs.
From interviews with Samie Lim, the Father of Philippine Franchising, who correctly predicted the growth of franchising in the Philippines 20 years ago, and discussions with other entrepreneurs both locally and internationally, here are 3 trends that will shape the Philippine franchise market:

    1. Increased demand for work-life balance
      Keywords related to home – based businesses get over 17,000 searches monthly on Google, and it continues to rise. With more people looking for work-life balance, most have started to look for businesses they can start and run from inside their homes. This trend has already taken markets like Europe by storm where franchise shows have seen an increase in home – based franchises businesses. Companies such as Tutor Doctor from the US and Crest Clean from New Zealand are just some great opportunities that allow entrepreneurs to start a business, while being in the comfort of your own home.
    1. The rise of Retirement Resorts
      Aging is a fact of life. The stigma of retirement homes as pseudo prisons is now changing with the entry of retirement resorts around the Philippines. Here, parents and grandparents can relax and enjoy socializing with peers while getting the best medical care, should they need it. Retirement resorts such as Life Care from Cebu have been an early player in this segment.
  1. Tourism Boom requiring new services and workers
    With the Philippine targeting to double tourists to 10M by 2016, and the Philippines having some of the best tourist spots around the world, we can expect more tourism dollars coming into the country. With this, there will be in increased need for tourism infrastructure such as good quality branded hotels that deliver value and reliable service across the country. In addition, tourism schools such as the Canadian Tourism & Hospitality Institute have started to use international standard curriculums to train more and more tourism professionals to prepare for the influx of tourists.

Buying a franchise can be a very profitable investment, but it’s important to choose businesses that will benefit from long term trends in the country. This will assure you that your franchise business will be profitable for decades to come.

Franchise Talk is a content partnership of ABS-CBNNews.com with Francorp Philippines. For more on franchising, contact Sam Christopher Lim at franchisetalk.ph@gmail.com or visit www.francorp.com.ph
About the author:
Sam Christopher Lim is the Senior Vice-President for marketing & strategy at Francorp Philippines. He has over a decade of global marketing experience from Bangkok, Shanghai and most recently London. He is a multi-awarded marketer who graduated with distinction from Oxford University and was awarded with the Young Market Masters award. He is also currently Chair for ASEAN integration for the Philippine Franchise Association.

 

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Francorp brings regional flavors national through franchising

It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur in our provinces. There are many food enterprises today that were once confined to towns but are now tourist destinations. And despite numerous foreign restaurants entering the Philippines, Francorp has been helping provincial concepts go from towns to city centers through franchising.

The Country Store of the Bohol Bee Farm

The first outlet of The Country Store is nestled within the homey and relaxing Bohol Bee Farm, an apiary-cum-agriculture farm resort in Dauis, Panglao Island, Bohol. The resort serves delicious, big portioned meals from organically-grown vegetables and fruits, 100% natural and without preservatives.

After meals, diners do not miss The Country Store of the Bohol Bee Farm for its healthy and mouth-watering array of organic goodies – squash muffins, vegetable lasagna, camote or sweet potato bread served with pesto and honey spread, special coffee from roasted corn and wild berries, organic garden salad (with edible flowers), mustard honey dressing, malunggay or spicy ginger ice cream on cassava cone, lemongrass (tanglad) juice, gumamela hot tea, to name a few.

The owner, Ms. Vicky Wallace, a balikbayan nurse, set up the farm with the cafe and store to advance her advocacy of helping local farmers by marketing the products of the Bohol Bee Farm and other local growers. The organic harvest is used in their cafe which have branches in the Island City Mall and Loboc Tourism Complex in Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol.

Franchisees can bring to Manila and all over the Philippines the to-die-for feast of healthy viands and beverages from The Country Store of the Bohol Bee Farm that are all so distinctive, refreshing, and made from organically grown ingredients. The store is a clear signal for other business owners to know that going green, organic, and natural can be very profitable.

Ilaputi

The unusual name of this Asian fusion restaurant, one of the newest top food destinations in Cebu, is actually a phrase in the Visayan dialect. When a Cebuano asks “Asa ta kaon?” or “Where do we eat?,” one answers “Ila Puti” referring to the place of Chef Jan Rodriguez, nicknamed “Puti” because of his fair complexion.

The beginnings of the restaurant and its chef are as amazing the dishes which he serves, all of which have a story behind them. Started in 2002, Ilaputi used to be a humble 35-seat carinderia across the University of San Carlos in Talamban, Cebu. The daily line-up of ready-cooked meals was just four dishes, freshly cooked from the kitchen: Silog Special, Peking Pork, Katsuto, and Teriyakatsu.

Today, 12 years into its existence, Ilaputi has become a favorite dining spot in one of the city’s upscale addresses, Asiatown Cebu IT Park, and is now renowned for its fast casual gourmet comfort food made from the freshest ingredients. The classy interiors and light music add to the cozy ambience – just the right setting for a sumptuous, reasonably priced, and surprising mix of dishes.

Jan started cooking when he was in U.S. as an outlet for his creativity, and coming home, continued to whip up dishes for family and friends. From out of his kitchen came out an eclectic mix of flavours that are pleasant to the palate.

His best sellers are Pasta Puti, Beef Stroganov, Chicken Jambalaya, and many more which only Chef Jan can concoct. Customers crave for Saigon Adobo and Vietcondobo Sandwich, Sakana tempura, Mexcebuano Chicken, Chikari, Kari Kulkarni and more. The appetizers alone are fully satisfying – Skin-On French Fries; Buffalo Chicken Fingers, Beef Mediterranean Salad or Phoenix Mandarin Salad.

Downed with refreshing pink lemonade, iced tea, or fruit shakes, a compleat meal caps the diner’s experience. For those who like to try their signature drinks, Ilaputi serves 22-ounce blended beverages and house cocktails.

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