With the Philippines’ population of 20 times more than that of Singapore, the city state’s F&B brands are finding an attractive market in the fastest growing economy in Southeast Asia.
Executives from Singapore food brands flew into Manila this week as they look to expand into the Philippines through franchising.
During an exclusive business matching event “Master Franchise Meet and Match” yesterday at Le Jardin in Bonifacio Global City, Singapore-based entrepreneurs and business organisations announced their interest in looking for potential partners to penetrate the Filipino market, known for its food enthusiasm.
Johnny Mayani, CEO of Wing Zone, said one of the reasons for choosing the Philippines is the big percentage of young consumers. He indicated that this market is suitable for their business, which targets the young food enthusiasts willing to customize products and try new flavours. Another reason is the Filipinos’ appreciation for Western food.
“The Philippines is a very exciting market for us because of the fact that it is very Western concept friendly,” said Mayani.
Wing Zone is an Atlanta-based restaurant chain which serves hamburgers, french fries, and buffalo wings. It’s headquartered in Singapore to look over its operations in Asia.
Another DIY brand that expressed interest in the Philippines is BurgerUP, a gourmet burger chain that has branches in Pungol and Yishun in Singapore.
BurgerUP executive chef Alvin Poon showed Inside Retail Philippines the restaurant’s ordering system that uses touchscreen technology. Customers can pick one or more patties, as well as toppings, to go with their burgers – through an app, and pay at the counter with generated QSR codes, avoiding long queues.
Coffeeshop Joe & Dough serves hand-crafted coffee made with Arabica beans and offers artisan breads and pastries. Asked who will be its biggest competitors in the Philippines, MD Damien Koh said its focus is not in the competition.
Koh recognises the growing artisanal cafe and bakeshop scene in the country, but he said the company prioritises its philosophy of providing everyone an access to good coffee.
Other brands that joined the event were Maki-San, considered as Southeast Asia’s first DIY sushi and salad bar where customers can choose from more 70 ingredients; Xiao Pan, which offers innovative soya bean based products for a good and healthy snack; and H20 Life Source, a water filtration systems provider, which plans to have at least 1000 stores in the Philippines in the next three years.
Gourmet bakeshop Swissbake, restaurant chain Keisuke Ramen, and casual dining restaurant PastaMania also expressed interest in franchising in the Philippines.
The franchise partnership event was organised by Francorp Philippines, together with U-Franchise Sales and Management, the Philippine Franchise Association, Franchise and Licensing Association (FLA) Singapore, and Astreem Consulting.