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The CHOWKING FOOD CORPORATION gained entrance to the Philippines' highly competitive fastfood industry in 1985, at a time when it was dominated by western-style burger joints. It positioned itself in a niche where it could be a strong leader, by adopting the best features of two distinct restaurant personalities - on the one hand, the traditional Chinese restaurant, with its menu of delectable, sumptuous but easy-to-prepare and reasonably-priced dishes; on the other, the modern, western-style fastfood joint, with its eye-catching façade, bright interiors and young staff dispensing friendly and snappy service - and fused them into a unique concept: the Oriental quick-service restaurant.
With focus on its core competencies to create differentiated, superior product value, Chowking has stood the test of shifting tastes, changing lifestyles and a volatile market, to develop its own set of loyal customers that keeps growing year in and year out.
In 1989, in an aggressive bid to expand its client base and capture a bigger share of the market, the company initiated its franchising operations and marked its entry into the provincial market. The twin moves enabled the company to pursue an ambitious expansion program that has made Chowking the largest Oriental quick-service (QSR) chain in the Philippines, enjoying high visibility in all the major cities and towns in the country's main island groups, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Emboldened by its success on the domestic front, the company ventured into the global market in 1995, with the opening of a Chowking store in California, USA. Today, Chowking outlets are operating in the US West Coast under a licensing agreement with a Filipino expatriate family. A similar agreement has been forged with a Dubai national for the operation of Chowking stores in the Middle East.
The turn of the millennium was a turning point for Chowking Food Corporation. On January 1, 2000 Chowking became a wholly owned subsidiary of Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest, most respected restaurant chain in the Philippines. With the merger came numerous changes in Chowking.
The change of ownership gave rise to renovations and improvements, beginning with a fresh corporate image made concrete by a brand-new retail identity. This identity manifests itself in almost all the physical aspects of the store - the logo, façade, layout, décor, counter, menuboard, furniture, equipment and even the staff uniforms. Launched in June 2000, the new corporate look is worn by all new stores, while old stores are undergoing renovation to conform to the new image. All these changes are complemented by front-end and back-end systems designed to ensure cost-efficiency, speed up service and increase customer satisfaction.
Hand in hand with the new physical features is the renewed pursuit of high standards in Food, Service and Cleanliness (FSC), the three pillars of the restaurant business. The goal has been still is as fundamental as it is simple: To serve consistently delicious and hot food in five minutes, amid sanitary and clean-smelling surroundings.
The strategic alliance between Chowking and Jollibee has proven mutually beneficial to both companies, bolstering their individual positions in the Philippine market - Jollibee as the undisputed market leader in the fastfood industry, Chowking as the No.1 Oriental quick-service restaurant chain. Jollibee lends its experience and prestige as the Philippines' dominant player in the fastfood industry, while Chowking is poised to contribute significantly to the annual systemwide sales of the Jollibee group. As they gear up for the challenges ahead, both companies are optimizing the advantages of the merger with synergies aimed at cutting costs and improving efficiency in their stores.