Jollibee acquires 50% stake in local Yoshinoya franchise

Published February 17, 2021, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC), one of the largest Asian food service companies, is acquiring a 50 percent stake in the Philippine franchise of the popular Yoshinoya restaurant of Japan.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, JFC said it will establish a 50-50 joint venture with Yoshinoya International Philippines, Inc. (YIPI), to operate and expand the “Yoshinoya” brand in the Philippines. 

Yoshinoya is a beef bowl business based in Japan and one of the largest and most recognized Japanese restaurant brands globally, with over 2,000 stores worldwide.

The joint venture company will be the franchisee for Yoshinoya in the Philippines. Completion of this transaction is subject to standard legal agreements and regulatory authority approval. 

YIPI is the Philippine subsidiary of Asia Yoshinoya International SDN BHD and Yoshinoya Holdings Co. Ltd., the trademark owner of the Yoshinoya System.

YIPI currently operates three Yoshinoya stores in the Philippines. The joint venture plans to open 50 stores in the Philippines in the long-term. 

“We are very pleased to enter this joint venture with the largest food service company in the Philippines,” said Yoshinoya Holdings Co. Ltd. President Yasutaka Kawamura. 

He added that, “Jollibee will certainly have a significant positive impact on Yoshinoya’s business in the country, with its extensive consumer knowledge, operational focus and presence in the Philippines. This partnership presents us a great opportunity to increase the potential growth of Yoshinoya in the Philippines.”

JFC Chairman Tony Tan Caktiong said “We are truly thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with YIPI and grow the Yoshinoya brand in the Philippines. JFC will benefit from Yoshinoya’s experience and know-how in Japanese cuisine.”

He noted that, “The Philippines remains JFC’s most important market and Yoshinoya will be a strong addition to our presence in the country. I am confident that this is the beginning of a long-term and much larger partnership.” 

JFC said Yoshinoya is its first ever Japanese food chain. Its contribution to JFC’s system wide sales will not be significant yet as it has very limited number of stores, but it has huge opportunity to increase sales by taking advantage of the strong demand for food delivery.

JFC noted that, Yoshinoya’s food, particularly its signature Gyudon beef bowl holds very well for delivery. 

Jollibee said it aims to be the leading market developer of foreign restaurant brands in the country, making it the partner of choice. Long-term, JFC plans to have close to 400 stores for its foreign franchised brands in the Philippines.

JFC sees high potential for broad acceptance across the country for these foreign franchised brands as it expects expansion of the upper middle class in the country in the long-term. This will create demand for a wider variety of food products including those from foreign brands.

The goal of these foreign franchised brands is to contribute to the sustainable growth of the domestic business by successfully building the brands and growing each brand to be the leader in its market segment.

These foreign franchised brands also create benefits such as economies of scale, synergies in organization and supply chain allowing them to be profitable in a short period of time.