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Franchise History in the Philippines

Have you ever wondered why Jollibee, McDonald’s, and 7-11 seem to be everywhere?

Well, that’s because they are among the Philippines’ premium and popular franchise businesses. If you have enough capital, you can invest in a franchise business, too, and be a businessperson without doing all the work of building a brand. How about another 7-11 in your hometown, right?

Philippines Franchising Through the Years

Franchising in the Philippines is nothing new. In fact, it was in 1993 when the acknowledged father of Philippine franchising, Samie Lim, hosted the first franchise expo, along with industry pioneers, Jose T. Pardo and Vicente T. Paterno. A year after that, the event grew from the previous top 10 franchisors.

In 1995, the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) was established. With support from Sergio Ortiz-Luis, head of the Private Investment and Trade Opportunities, PFA approached the USAID to acquire funding to have an industry master plan created and patterned after the American example.

The funding provided opportunities for franchisors and franchisees to acquire multi-brands.
Today, the franchising industry continues to grow strong and steady with foreign franchises using it as a staging point to establish a franchise in Asia. Some of the popular franchises in the Philippines are also gaining international popularity.

The Franchising Industry Today

Some of the most common franchise businesses in the country include food carts and kiosks, fast food restaurants, water refilling stations, bars and cafes, and service-type franchises.

One of the most popular fast food restaurants in the Philippines is Jollibee. It currently has 1,000 stores, with the 1,000th opened in Dubai, UAE. What started out as a Cubao-based Magnolia Ice cream parlor in 1975, which later became the first outlet of Jollibee, is now a household name and a local favorite.

Three years after Mr. Tony Tan and his family opened the first Jollibee outlet, they received their sales of P2 million. A year after, in 1979, the first franchised-store opened at Ronquillo in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Fast forward to 2015, Jollibee opened its first store in Bahrain.

Aside from local brands, foreign companies are also expanding in the Philippines through franchising. A brand that did just this is one of the most well-known restaurant chains in Japan, Rai Rai Ken. There’s also Nonki Japanese Restaurant, Gryn Wasabi Sushi Bar, and E&E Takuyaki.

What is the Trend in the Philippine Franchise Industry?

There is conservative growth but there’s growth, nonetheless. The PFA expects a 10% to 15% growth in 2018 and 20% by 2020. The PFA will continue to promote franchising to boost the local economy and for economic empowerment.

In a recent interview, PFA chairman for Asean, Sam Christopher Lim, stressed that “The idea is to promote inclusive growth.”


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