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The inspirational story behind the Filipino’s favorite fast food chain, Jollibee



Who would have not known the famous and Filipino favorite fast food chain, Jollibee? In every place you go, there will surely be a Jollibee store that is near you. But have you ever wonder about the story behind its success? From an ice cream parlor to a fast-food empire, it was indeed an amazing story of success. Jollibee Food Corporation or JFC was founded by Tony Tan Caktiong.

It is the most innovative, most admired and most loved fast food chain here in the Philippines. It was indeed a tough competition to other international fast food chains like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). A franchise of it costs about 25 million pesos! It is also one of the best buys in the Philippines Stocks Exchange (PSE) when it comes to stocks buying.

Tony Tan Caktiong, the founder of Jollibee an actually had a rag to riches story. He was the third child in seven children. They were from the Fujian province of China but their family decided to move to the Philippines because of too many expenses. His father was actually a chef in a Chinese Temple. Then, his father had given a business opportunity in Davao. There, they opened their restaurant business where all of their family members works hands-on.



As their business progress, Tony had an opportunity to return to Manila and study Chemical Engineering at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).


It was around 1975 when Tony and his friends went on a Magnolia Ice Cream Plant in Quezon City and it was just a couple of months when they bought a franchise of it worth P350,000. The family worked hard and it resulted in two franchise, the Cubao Ice Cream House and the Quiapo Ice Cream. They had also instructed and trained other people to work for them. After two years of selling ice cream, they decided to start selling hamburgers and chicken that became hit in 1978 so they decided in opening a hamburger house.


They thought of a brand name that would be very familiar. As their family was very hardworking as a bee and jolly at the same time, they come up with Jollibee. McDonald’s opened in 1982 but still, Jollibee is operating well. McDonald’s came prepared but they never knew that taste buds of every Filipino. They think of a menu that would fit the taste of every Filipino and even the sweet tooth of every Filipino and foreigner.


Today. Jollibee already has other stores like Greenwich that serves pizzas, Chowking that serves Chinese foods, Red Ribbon that serves cakes and pastries, as well as Delifrance that serves bread.