Nowadays, particularly in Metro Manila, it can be a surprising reveal to enter a branch of what is ostensibly a foreign restaurant chain, only to learn that its local partner in establishing a footprint in the Philippines is actually the country’s biggest fast food company. It is already well known that Jollibee Foods Corporation has become big enough to acquire overseas businesses like The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf from the US, and PHO24 from Vietnam. One of JFC’s latest ventures however is a partnership, one with a major Japanese beef bowl chain that has been in business since 1899.
According to the Philippine Star, Jollibee Foods Corp. has entered into what was termed as a “50/50 joint venture” with Yoshinoya International Philippines Inc. This is the local operator of the Yoshinoya fast food chain from Japan, famous there as well as in the US and Asia for gyudon or beef bowl. The joint venture will serve as franchisee for new branches of Yoshinoya in the Philippines to add to already-existing three restaurants. No less than 50 new stores are planned to be opened “in the long run” nationwide. The news broke Tuesday, February 16 when Jollibee made a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
This new upcoming firm, which will have its own management from JFC, will be allotted a starting capital stock of P150 million, pending approval from regulators in the national government. If it passes muster, then all profits from the Yoshinoya stores that will open in the future will be shared equally between Jollibee Foods and Yoshinoya International Philippines. This operator was itself born in 2001 from a joint venture between Yoshinoya in Japan and Century Canning Corporation, now Century Pacific Food. An earlier Philippine division of the Japanese chain operated from 1991 to 1993 but failed to open a branch.
In comment to JFC’s latest partnership, managing director Luis Limlingan of the brokerage Regina Capital Development Corp. sees the century-spanning brand of Yoshinoya as being a solid factor to help in opening new stores under the company’s ever-growing umbrella. He also sees an advantage in how Yoshinoya’s signature beef bowl is optimal for food delivery, meaning the new branches could take advantage of the COVID pandemic forcing customers throughout the country to increasingly fall back on having orders delivered home. Until said stores open however, the joint venture is expected not have significant effects on Jollibee’s current sales across all its franchise brands at present.
Image courtesy of Rappler