There are two things that guided Jollibee’s president, Tony Tan Caktiong, on the path of building a company: His experience and taste.
When Jollibee decided to jump to making hamburgers instead of ice cream in the late 1970s, their founder Tony Tan Caktiong and his wife Grace tasted all the different burgers they could find in Manila. to know all the flavors of burgers available in the market at that time.
3 properties in the hands of boss Jollibee
Today, despite being the chairman of Jollibee, Tony Tan Caktiong continues to conduct market surveys in the same way. The only difference is in the scale: Tony Tan Caktiong tries more dishes in many different countries.
In recent years, the man behind the most popular fast-food chain in the Philippines has spent most of his time abroad tasting everything from Dim Sum to Taco. Tony Tan Caktiong does all this to realize his dream of making Jollibee a global empire in the F&B industry.
“We always go to different places and try new foods, then go on and say: This is great.” Tony Tan Caktiong said this to reporters at the end of June, just before his flight to Hong Kong and mainland China, which he considered a cornerstone of Jollibee’s global development.
When Tony Tan Caktiong finds the things he really enjoys, he will ask investment banks or suppliers to connect with those potential goals.
In his quest to buy new companies, Tony Tan Caktiong has three things: his $ 1 billion financing, decades of F&B experience and … his taste buds.
From a picky kid to a restaurant owner
Tony Tan Caktiong was born into an immigrant family from Fujian province – China. His father worked as a cook at a Buddhist monastery in Manila before opening his own restaurant in Davao, southern Philippines.
This has helped Tony Tan Caktiong have the opportunity to observe how a restaurant operated as a child. He also possessed an innate ability to judge dishes.
Tony Tan Caktiong is the third child in a family of 7 brothers. In 2013, he told a Forbes reporter: “My mother said that I was the hardest child in the house because I was the toughest child to eat while my brothers were ready to eat anything. What ”.
After graduating from University, Tony Tan Caktiong started using these abilities to start his own business. In 1975, Tony Tan Caktiong and his wife opened two Magnolia ice cream shops in Manila metro station. To compete with rivals, his store uses bigger ice cream scoops. But Filipinos like to eat hot food before eating cold foods like ice cream. This fact led the couple Tony Tan Caktiong to decide to sell more sandwiches and then burgers.
3 years later, they introduced a new type of hamburger named Yumburger. This dish is then extremely expensive. And this motivated the couple Tony Tan Caktiong to continue to include in Jollibee’s menu new dishes like fried chicken, pasta and indigenous Filipino dishes.
Tony Tan Caktiong once told his associates that he aspires to create the largest food company in the world. “That’s when we only had five shops and some people laughed when they heard it, but I was never kidding.”
Red bee from Philippines and giant McDonald’s
Tony Tan Caktiong’s determination faced a difficult challenge when McDonald’s entered the Philippines market in 1981.
“Many well-meaning friends recommend that we sell our small chain store while it is still functioning well. After all, how could a small Filipino company with only 5 stores compete against a leading multinational company in the field they invented – hamburger? ”, He recalled. His speech in 2013, avoid mentioning the name of the famous fast-food chain in the US directly.
Tony Tan Caktiong also joked that if he listened to his friend’s advice, he would probably be standing over the burger for the company that everyone knows.
The red bee – the symbol of Jollibee today was introduced by Tony Tan Caktiong for the first time in 1980. The Jollibee bee has made this brand more and more popular, especially for Filipino children who always want to be fathered. Mom celebrated birthday at the Jollibee store.
Kristelle Batchelor was a child like that. Sitting in a Jollibee store in Queens, New York, Kristelle shared that she went to Jollibee’s overseas stores to ease her homesickness. The 23-year-old flight attendant living in New York also added, “I like to sit around Filipinos and the taste at this store reminds me of my childhood.”
The Jollibee brand has become such a symbol that when chef and celebrity culinary television host Anthony Bourdain filmed a show in the Philippines in 2016, he stopped by a Jollibee store. Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made Filipinos love him and overshadowed protesters against the import of trash from Canada into the country when he went to a Jollibee store in Manila in last.
Years ago, when asked why he chose the bee as a symbol of Jollibee, Tony Tan Caktiong said that this animal represents the typical characteristics of Filipinos: Hard work, optimism and joy. And these qualities also exist within him.
Vietnamese German / Nikkei
* Source: zing News