The Man Behind Jollibee

Image from Forbes

Simply imagine the smell of their burgers. Their sweet dessert offerings. Their oh so meaty spaghetti. Their crispy fried chicken and more! Ok enough of those things I’m getting hungry as I write this. I am talking about Jollibee. It is always one of my favourite fastfood chains in the country and I am always on the lookout for whatever new they could bring to their patrons and consumer.

The man behind Jollibee is Tony Tan Caktiong. He is the founder, CEO and also chairman of Jollibee. With the recent Forbes list on the richest Filipino, his family is in the 12th place with a net worth of $1.25 billion. Oh hello there Tito Tony!

However, didn’t you know that Tony is just like the rest of us. Jollibee’s success didn’t happen overnight. And certainly this is not the first business that he established.

Tony Tan graduated from UST with a degree in civil engineering. Prior to establishing the happy bee, his brother Ernesto Man Mantiong opened two Magnolia ice cream parlors. They got inspired by their father who was a restaurant chef in Davao. The said Magnolia branches were situated in Cubao and in Quiapo. However, they noticed that their customers are craving for more. The ice cream is no longer sufficient to retain their patrons. That is why they decided to add sandwiches. They then find out that more people are ordering their burgers more than their ice cream. Hence they focused on selling the burgers instead.

In 1978, Tony established a chain of burger outlets. While in the verge of searching the perfect name and the mascot for the store, he bumped into a bee with the philosophy of spreading happiness and being productive. Hence the name Jollibee! Now I know.

When the other fastfood giant penetrated the country’s market, he refused to franchise McDonalds. He sees it as a competition instead. That is why he was able to customize the menu in order to satisfy the taste buds of the Filipinos.

Since then, it continually expands acquiring more fast food chains like Greenwich, Chowking, Mang Inasal and Red Ribbon. By 2009, there are already 686 Jollibee stores. Aside from that, it is not only anchoring its business in the country but also overseas. It currently has stores in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and more.

Today, there has been news that it planned to open up to 4,000 outlets worldwide. Not to mention the varied acquisitions and more. Jollibee is definitely in a roll and Tony Tan Caktiong is certainly an inspiration.

P.S. To those doing the 52 Week Money Challenge and 52 Week Money Challenge Version 2, it is Week 11 already! Did you deposit the next amount yet?

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