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

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Pizza Brands Continue Global Expansion

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Pizza favorites Shakey’s, Yellow Cab and Project Pie target growth in various regions.


(From left) Project Pie, Yellow Cab and Shakey’s (from official Facebook fan pages and websites)

Thanks to the Italian diaspora, Italian cuisine has gained wide acceptance all over the world. While it’s hard to turn down a plate full of pasta, it’s even much harder to turn down a slice of pizza. (Recently, it’s even been found that pizza is a better motivator at work than monetary incentives!)

Indeed, pizza remains one of the pillars of the food service industry’s global foothold. According to market research firm Euromonitor International, pizza chains now represent nearly 5 percent of global consumer food service sales, and account for US$ 124 billion in global spending. Euromonitor adds that Asian markets exhibit great potential for effective segmentation in the pizza market, even citing homegrown pizza brand Greenwich as a growing force to be reckoned with in the Philippines.

From traditional full-service pizza parlors to artisanal gourmet pizza, here are some international favorites out to take the global pizza market by storm.



Shakey's store. Photo from Shakey's

Shakey’s store. Photo from Shakey’s

Shakey’s: Pizza fun for the whole family
Shakey’s is recognized the world over not just for being the first pizza franchise chain from the United States, but also for having the world’s greatest and most-loved thin crust pizza—with a side of chicken and mojos, to boot.

For the past 62 years, Shakey’s has characterized itself as the pizza brand which celebrates fun times with friends and family. Spacious pizza parlors decked with arcades and play areas make Shakey’s appealing to both adults and children. It is this focus on fun times with the family which has enabled Shakey’s to become the market leader in traditional full-service pizza chains and family-style casual dining.

Even after decades of success, Shakey’s is showing no signs of slowing down. Now with 500 stores worldwide, with established presences in the United States, Japan, the Philippines and Mexico, Shakey’s is now setting its sights for further expansion in Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

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Article by: Sam Christopher Lim

Chris is the senior vice president for marketing and strategy of Francorp Philippines; president of U-Franchise Sales & Management; and chairperson and director for special projects, ASEAN integration-Philippine Franchise Association.


Francorp Philippines has developed over 400 franchise brands in the Philippines, and continues to deliver international level franchise developmentstandards across the Philippines. It is a one-stop shop franchise development consultant that helps business develop franchise business strategies, operations development, franchise legal agreements, and franchise marketing & sales strategies. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise!  


To know more about international franchise brands, contact U-Franchise Sales Management,, Tel No.:  (+632) 634.05.86 or Email:

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Passing the Baton: Francorp’s Next Generation Managers

Nearing its 20th year in the country, Francorp, or the International Franchise Corporation of the Philippines, has successfully transferred the reins of management to a new breed of young professionals who, like the founders, share the passion of upholding franchising as a key player in advancing business in this part of Asia.


In 1996, when founding fathers, Samie Lim and Manny Siggaoat, and mother of Philippine franchising, Bing Sibal Limjoco, established Francorp after returning from the United States where they learned the rudiments of franchising from their guru Don Boroian of Francorp USA, they were filled with great hopes that franchising will be the solution to growing businesses faster from one to many, with lesser capital on the part of the franchisor, and use of other people’s expertise, which in this case is the franchisee partner. With a proven business model that was to be replicated by their franchisees and a success rate of 90% if the system was followed, many brand owners were expertly advised by Francorp that franchising can be their route to success.


Two decades after and more than 300 brands assisted in different stages of their development, Francorp’s founders are ready to pass the baton. The transition has been smooth because the equity of this franchise consultancy business and the responsibilities attached to it were readily embraced by the scions, Sam Christopher “Chris” T. Lim, and Manuel “Noel” V. Siggaoat Jr., as well as the career manager who experienced the consultancy company’s rise to its position of leadership in this industry, Joselito “Lito” G. Samson.


With these three holding the reins, but still guided by the visionary Samie Lim, the retired but quiet inspiration Manny Siggaoat, the indefatigable Bing Limjoco, and supported by the team of dedicated consultants and staff, Francorp is brightly looking forward to the decades ahead when franchising will still be a prime contributor to economic growth.



A whiff of fresh air wafted through Francorp when the Father of Philippine franchising, Samie Lim, sent his son, Sam Christopher, to head Marketing and Strategy. In a business world that’s changing so fast, Francorp must keep in step. The inputs, therefore, of one so abreast in global trends come at a most opportune time. And it also helps that he is a millennial, technology savvy, and in touch with what’s up-to-date in places that matter. His stints as senior global brand manager for the Unilever offices in Bangkok, Shanghai, and London have given him the valuable marketing experience he needs to raise the bar at Francorp.


Chris Lim’s academic background is just as stellar. After earning the highest award in Management Engineering at the Ateneo de Manila University, he went on to the National University of Singapore, and finally, to Oxford University in England where he graduated with distinction. While earning his post graduate diploma in Strategy and Innovation, he was also awarded the Young Market Masters Award.


Chris says that “having lived abroad for over a decade, I’m convinced that Philippine brands can compete internationally, but what we need is to make sure we have strong systems in place, invest in professional branding, and have a clear franchise entry strategy.” That’s why, concurrent with his Francorp position, he is also president of U-Franchise Sales and Management Inc. where he helps connect franchisors with franchisees both locally and internationally. In addition, he is also a Director in A.S. Louken Philippines, an international branding consultant that has helped brands such as Bread Talk and Charles & Keith gain international prominence. And to continue pushing brands to grow through franchising both in the Philippines and across ASEAN, he is chairperson for ASEAN Integration at the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) where he is very active in promoting the Nextgen Program.




Noel Siggaoat heads the consultancy team. With emphasis on franchise strategy, he leads development work for Francorp clients which entails diverse areas of franchise finance, strategy, operations, marketing, and sales. Noel learned the ropes in franchising from the founder and Chairman of Francorp USA himself, Don Boroian, whom he trained under at Francorp’s worldwide headquarters near Chicago, Illinois.


A Certified Franchise Executive, Noel earned his MBA degree from Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top American universities for business and technology. Soon after his masters, he went to New York City where he joined firms such as the Union Bank of Switzerland and Exis Consulting. Prior to graduate school, Noel worked as a management consultant for the SGV Management Services group in Manila. He obtained his IndustrialManagement Engineering degree fromDe La Salle University where he was a consistent Dean’s Lister and a Gold Medal recipient for Best Thesis in IME.


Noel says, “It’s very rewarding to help small companies break through and transform from being a start-up business into a national chain through the power of franchising. Small companies are able to leverage other people’s money, time, and personnel to compete with the bigger players. Part of the reason I came back from a lucrative career in the U.S. was to do my share in helping the Philippine economy grow. Franchising allows me to achieve this because of its multiplier effect; it helps companies grow quickly and successfully, and in the process creates many entrepreneurs – franterpreneurs (franchisee-entrepreneurs), who then employ thousands of workers. That gives me a great sense of fulfillment!”


He is excited about the next frontier of Philippine franchises: International Franchising. Through his guidance, Francorp has already assisted a few homegrown companies break into the international scene. “In the next few years, instead of Filipino OFWs, we will be exporting more and more Philippine businesses because of franchising”, Noel claims proudly.

His idea of relaxation revolves around sports and fitness. A former varsity football player at DLSU, Noel is currently into endurance sports. As a runner and triathlete, he has completed grueling marathons and Ironman races.



Lito samson

A Certified Franchise Executive and Serv Safe Executive, Lito Samson is behind the franchise programs of most of Francorp’s clients in the food, retail, and service industries. Trusted by management and clients alike, Lito travels the Philippines to ensure that business owners nationwide who engage Francorp’s expertise get the best personalized and customized service when it comes to documenting their operations. His goal is to come up with a viable operations manual, a necessary component of an honest-to goodness franchise system.


He is the go-to person whenever franchise operations is concerned because he is backed up by a solid 25 years of experience honed by work stints, first, in McDonald’s, where he attended Hamburger University in Australia. Later, he was store and training manager for companies like Carl’s Jr. and Jollibee. He also worked for a Japanese restaurant and was the Profit Center Manager for the Burger Machine chain, handling 70 to 100 outlets in various Metro Manila locations. At Francorp, since 2005, he spearheaded prime projects for operations manual development and services, and has guided many of our top clients in the field of quick-service food, retail, and service.


Being one of Francorp’s top speakers on franchising, he represents the company as a resource person in various local and international conferences and trade shows. Because his travels have given him a grasp of the developments of franchising abroad and in the country, he hopes to see Francorp play a stronger role in the industry and eventually, be a major player in ASEAN franchise consultancy services. Lito says, “Francorp can provide the services that can answer the demands of the growing ASEAN market. Hopefully, we evolve to become the preferred franchise developer in ASEAN.”


Sharing an interesting observation, Lito states that “franchising in the Philippines is maturing in the sense that franchisors now are more careful in building and strengthening their franchise support systems, as well as having a more stringent franchise recruitment process. Franchisors understand the value of investing in the “right franchisee”. They have come to realize that by doing so they will have better operations and improved earning potentials which are, in the long run, good for their brand.” On the franchisee side, Lito says “franchise investors are more conscious of the long term aspects of the offering such as Return on Investment (ROI), franchise terms, and the potentials for investing in additional units.” Another positive development he cites is the presence of a growing crop of “professional franchisees” or businessmen who invest and operate several franchise units and/or brands.


When on a break from work, Lito unwinds with his hobby – photography. He is a devoted dad to 2 teenagers, a daughter and son.


Francorp Philippines has developed over 400 franchise brands in the Philippines, and continues to deliver international level franchise development standards across the Philippines. It is a one-stop shop franchise development consultant that helps business develop franchise business strategies, operations development, franchise legal agreements, and franchise marketing & sales strategies. Learn How to Franchise your Business in our monthly seminar, or take a franchise test to see if your business is ready to franchise

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Growing the Franchise Industry: The Philippine Experience

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!

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