Sunday, March 9, 2008


I think that one of the reasons for Jollibee's tremendous growth and success during the '80's was that it was able to attract good talent and keep them.

During its expansion binge from 1986 to the early '90's there was always an opening for store managers and since there weren't many ready talents from the ranks of the crews, Jollibee had to resort to pirating from other fastfood chains. By then, it already had the reputation for giving higher than industry salaries and benefits. It was also known as an employer that took good care of its people.

From KFC alone,there were so many of us who transferred to JFC in 1985 to 87. There were the likes of: Jimmy Ramos,Connie Mendoza,Leonie Soriano (they were among the first to migrate to Jollibee.) Then came Jimmy Enriquez (one of the prize catches from KFC,)Raffy Selga, Meann San Juan, Livia Pinggoy,Mimi Fernandez,Bambi Bejo,Iyoh Villamayor,Macy Ang,Malou Vidal,Louie Madlangbayan, Susan Almazan,Carmen Reyes and myself.

Then sometime in 1987,nine managers from McDonald's joined the ranks of Jollibee. Those whom I recall were: Fermin Fajardo, Rafael Recio, Tess Valdepenas,Gildy Abrigo, and Vina Evangelista.

Later on, managers from Pizza Hut, Shakey's and Wendy's would turn up at the recruitment office of Jollibee,all wanting to be part of the number one fastfood chain in the country.

Jollibee benefitted a lot from this infusion of "fresh blood" even if it came from rival chains. Each of the brands had their peculiar strengths from which Jollibee learned.

For example, it couldn't be denied that McD's strength lay in its strong operating systems. The ex-McD's shared their ideas on how to further improve Jollibee's production and service systems. In fact, a lot of the ideas we implemented in our Managing Service and Managing Production projects originated from a study of McDonald's operations.

When it came to people handling though, ex-KFC managers had an edge. At KFC,they had to handle tough,hard-headed union regulars. So when they transferred to Jollibee,which was also unionized but under a moderate union, the labor problems they had to face were relatively"easy to handle."

The other brands' losses became Jollibee's gains. Many of the ex- KFC people rose to occupy key positions in the Jollibee organization. For instance, Iyoh Villamayor,who became the Regional Business Unit head of Jollibee Metro- Manila is now spearheading Jollibee USA's expansion in the East Coast. Jimmy Enriquez is now Operations Director of Chowking,Jollibee's sister brand. Others became Area Managers or Group Managers of Franchise stores.

Many of these have also stayed with Jollibee for a long time (more than twenty years) which says a lot of how Jollibee has really taken good care of its key talents.

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