Wednesday, January 3, 2007


What do Marly Pearl Wee, the CHAMP and Jollibee EDSA Central have in common?

Nothing much really. One was a former cashier in what was once known as Jollibee QUAD. The second is a product of Jollibee. The third is a franchised store. The three were instrumental in convincing me that Jollibee was a well run company and that I wasn’t making a mistake in joining them.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, I had just been promoted as HR Officer of KFC when I learned of the job opening at Jollibee for a Training Specialist. The position was non-supervisory so that meant I was going to report to someone else, unlike at KFC where I was the boss of my department. The pay offer at Jollibee was only slightly higher than what I was getting at KFC, and didn’t include perks like a company car, which I was sure to get by virtue of my being a department head.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make, until I paid a visit to some Jollibee stores and got a further glimpse of what the company was all about.

I was at Makati one day monitoring the new KFC management trainees who were undergoing their crash training when I decided to drop by Jollibee QUAD (now Park Square) for merienda. Marly Wee was at the counter and attended to my order.

At KFC, we had what we called the 7 Key Steps in customer service which was a procedure we had difficulty enforcing because our “mature” cashiers didn’t seem to see any sense in doing the step-by-step process. They didn’t want to smile; their greetings were often insincere and you could sense that they wanted to get over the transactions immediately.

I didn’t know then that Jollibee was also enforcing the 7 Key Steps until I saw Marly do the procedure…as if she had read our KFC operations Manual! Since I had ordered for a Champ,which meant I had to wait a while, Marly told me how long the wait was going to be. Later on she served my order and again did things by the book; thanking me for waiting, asking if I needed anything else and ending with the customary” Thank you. Enjoy your meal!”

I was really impressed.

Marly eventually became a management trainee and I had the chance to handle one of the classes where she was attending. I told the whole class about my chance encounter with Marly (which she could no longer remember.) She was delighted to hear about it though.

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