INQUIRER.NET

Jollibee on top of Asia food chain

Homegrown fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has hit its goal of becoming Asia’s most valuable restaurant chain and is further expanding its global footprint.

JFC chief executive officer Tony Tan Caktiong on Friday reported during the annual stockholders meeting that JFC recently became the leading restaurant company in terms of market capitalization in Asia, and the second highest among quick service restaurants in the world.

Citing independent consumer research data, Tan Caktiong also noted that, as of end-2013, JFC had the second highest system-wide sales (next to Japanese chain Zenshio Corp.) among all Asian restaurant companies.

“According to our estimate, JFC would generate the largest sales by 2014 or 2015. For all intents and purposes, your company has achieved its vision of becoming the No. 1 Asian restaurant company,” he told stockholders.

In 2013, JFC breached the P100-billion sales mark for the first time.

Further expansion is in the pipeline locally, as well as overseas.

“We’d like to have more play in the US market. We’re looking at a certain acquisition in the US,” Tan Caktiong said in a briefing after the stockholders meeting.

He said JFC would like to acquire a US-based fast-food chain, which has room for further growth.

Tan Caktiong will retire as the company’s CEO on July 1.

About 20 percent of the company’s turnover now comes from its overseas operations, the biggest market of which is China—it now accounts for 12 percent of the total business.

The goal is to have a 50-50 percent mix, but this has been pushed back because the Philippine market is likewise growing fast, Tan Caktiong explained.

Aside from the potential acquisition of a new brand, JFC plans to bring its brands to new markets. For instance, flagship Jollibee will likely be introduced to Canada by next year and opportunities in Indonesia are under study, Tan Caktiong said.

Jollibee is now present in eight overseas markets: Vietnam, Brunei, Hong Kong, Singapore, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.

Chinese fastfood chain Chowking was recently introduced in Saudi Arabia and would soon be brought to Kuwait, said JFC chief operating officer Ernesto Tanmantiong.

Chowking has existing operations in the United States and the Middle East.

According to Tanmantiong, who will succeed his brother Tan Caktiong as CEO, Jollibee has received “a lot of offers” to franchise its brand in new markets like Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), Europe and Japan, and is looking at franchising in more overseas markets “in the near future.”

Outside of the Philippines, Jollibee’s stores are mostly company-owned except those in the Middle East.

The group now has about 411 stores in China.

As of end-March, the group had a total of 2,805 stores globally, of which 2,217 restaurants were in the Philippines.

About half of its global store network is company-owned.

READ NEXT

Mitsubishi acquires local transmission parts maker

Outbrain