By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Kuya J Group, one of the country’s fast-rising food chain, is investing P1.5 billion initially as it plans to build more than 100 Popeyes restaurants in three years.
Company president Winglip K. Chang told reporters at the signing of its partnership agreement with Coca-Cola Philippines being its official beverage provider that each store requires an investment of P20 million depending on the size of the restaurant.
The first Popeyes store located in ArcoVia City in Pasig City has an investment of more than P20 million because the flagship store is bigger with more than 400 square meters and a capacity of more than 200 customers.
The initial investment, however, would be very conservative if based on Chang’s plan to aggressively build hundreds of fastfood restaurants.
“We will open as many branches as the market can bear. I cannot tell specific numbers but it will be in the hundreds that we will open in five years,” Chang said.
Already, the company is looking at 15 Popeyes restaurants within the year from Alabang to Marikina. The second store in Alabang Town Center is expected to open next week.
According to Chang, the initial stores will all be company-owned although they are open to offer sub-franchises of this American franchise “when the time is ripe.”
The core menus of the Louisiana restaurant, which is famous for its fried chicken, will remain the same but Chang said they have tweaked some recipes to adapt to the Filipino palate.
For instance, its spaghetti is made a bit sweeter because Filipinos have sweet tooth. They also offer rice.
“Filipinos love chicken, a fact that cannot be disputed,” he said noting that Popeyes fried chicken bested all other fried chicken all over the world. “We love the brand even before we acquired the franchise so we actively pursued this because we know we can sell this in the Philippines,”
Chang even shared that they surpassed all opening day sales and even opening month sales of Popeyes globally when they opened the first Popeyes store in Pasig on May 16 this year.
According to Chang, they registered a thousand transactions a day.
In terms of pricing,
Chang said they are competitive with all the other fastfood chains in the country.
The Kuya J Group is the parent company of Kuya J casual dining Filipino restaurant, which has now 112 outlets. The group also owns concept stores Sugbu Seafood City, Tsay Cheng Chinese Cuisine, Majestic Restaurant, and the Heritage Grand Convention Center of Cebu.
On the part of Coca-Cola Philippines, company commercial director Bruce Burnett said “Coca-Cola is honored to have Popeyes as a partner here in the Philippines, a country that loves delicious comfort food likefried chicken, as much as they an ice-cold Coke.”
Popeyes and Coca-Cola have long been partners since the restaurant’s establishment in Louisiana.