The emergence of American-style fast food restaurants has had a significant influence on the culinary landscape of the Philippines. While these quick service restaurants are similar to the turo-turo eateries, where you point at the food you want to order, spread across the archipelago, they offer better ambiance and a different food selection compared to your neighbourhood carenderia or eatery.
The popularity of fast food restaurants in the Philippines was further enhanced with the establishment of major malls around the country. The following are four of the most popular fast food restaurants in the Philippines.
Jollibee Palo Leyte Branch
is a home-grown Filipino fast food chain with hundreds of branches nationwide. In fact, it also has branches in some major cities in other countries with a large Filipino community. Jollibee is among the most recognizable brands in the country and they have been serving quality food to the masses since Tony Tan Caktiong first opened an ice cream parlor in 1975.
Dining Area at Jollibee Palo Leyte Branch
Chickenjoy with Rice
Jollibee serves the typical fast food fare with a Filipino twist. Its most popular menu item, which is also its flagship product, is the Chickenjoy. Other rice meals of the store have likewise proven to be popular in this rice-eating country. Their burgers in different variations are also best-sellers.
Since many of the branches of Jollibee are open 24 hours a day, anytime would be the best time to visit the store. However, it should be noted that due to its popularity, it is expected to be quite full during lunch and dinner time. Because of this, it is advisable to go the store just before the lunch or dinner rush. The price range of the menu items of Jollibee is from PhP29, for their regular burgers, up to PhP440 for an 8-piece Chickenjoy Bucket meal. While most Jollibee stores located outside malls have parking space for its customers, it may not be easy to find a slot during the lunch and dinner rush.
Chowking Lucena Branch
prides itself as the “pioneer in Asian quick service restaurant concept in the Philippines.” Its founder Robert Kuan opened the first Chowking store in 1985. The concept proved to be popular among Filipinos, who have taken a liking for Chinese food. Seven years after, the store opened its first branches in the Visayas and Mindanao area before establishing its 100th store in 1996. In the same year, Chowking opened its first international store in California, USA.
Chowking dining area
Chinese-Style Fried Chicken Lauriat
Similar to Jollibee, Chowking infused the Filipino taste into its dishes, which draw its inspiration from Chinese cuisine. The store offers a number of Chinese-inspired dishes, including wonton mami, pancit canton, Chinese-Style Fried Chicken Lauriat, Pork Chao Fan, siopao, and beef wonton mami, among others. The prices of the menu items at Chowking range from PhP41, for the regular Chunky Asado Siopao, to PhP490, for the Chicken Family Pack. Majority of Chowking stores outside malls offer parking space for its customers, but there may be instances when it will not be easy to find a slot, particularly around lunch and dinner. The best time to visit any Chowking store is just a bit earlier than when offices and schools have their break time.
McDonald’s drive thru
is a well-known American quick service restaurant that entered the Philippine market in 1981. George T. Yang was the man responsible for bringing the Golden Arches chain (Golden Arches is the restaurant’s symbol) to the country. The first store of the company is still open in its original location in Morayta, Manila. The company opened its first few stores outside of Luzon in 1992, with the establishment of stores in Cagayan de Oro City and Cebu City.
McDonald’s UP Town Center Branch
BFF Mix Bundle
McDonald’s offers all-American fast food items also with a Filipino twist. Aside from the usual burgers and fries, the store also offers rice meals, including the Chicken McDo with Rice, Sausage Platter, and Longganisa with Rice, among others. The price range of the menu items at McDonald’s is from PhP29, for the Apple Pie,up to PhP609, for the BFF Bundle for Four.
Similar to other fast food restaurants in the Philippines, the store offers parking spaces for its customers. However, it may be a struggle to find a slot during the breakfast, lunch, and dinner rush.
KFC in San Isidro
KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
is another American quick service restaurant that has piqued the taste buds of Filipinos. The company started offering its fried chicken infused with the 11 secret herbs and spices of Colonel Sanders way back in 1940 and began selling franchises in 1952. In the Philippines, Manuel Agustines acquired the sole franchise of the company in the country in 1994.
KFC offers different variations of chicken on its menu. There are even instances when the store would offer menu items for a limited time period, such as the KFC Double Down Burger and Double Down Dog. Aside from chicken, the store also offers brownies, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and mushroom soup, among others. The prices of the menu items at KFC are between PhP54, for the Spaghetti, and PhP579, for its Regular Bucket Meal. The chain also frequently has movie tie-ups such that their meals are served in cups, boxes, and buckets with movie themes.
KFC dining area
KFC Double Down Dog
Since KFC is one of the most popular quick service restaurants offering chicken as its main product, the stores are expected to be filled nearly to the brim during lunch and dinner. Because of this, it is advisable to visit the stores before or after these times. Most of the stores of the company are located in major malls around the country, which means suitable parking space is available unless there is a major sale in the mall. In this case, it may not be easy to find a slot in the parking area of the mall.
All fast food or quick service restaurants typically have a similar ambience. The in-house music is usually the jingle of the company or any upbeat music to enhance the dining experience of their customers. The service is fast to ensure all customers are accommodated with reasonable waiting time. The staff goes through sufficient training to allow them to provide the best service to their customers.
The establishment of quick service restaurants in the country has met the demand of professionals for a quick way to dine and keep up with the fast pace of life in the city. Fast food chains also spell good food after a long day at work
, when people just want to rest and enjoy their meals without having to spend whatever energy they have left. Furthermore, these fast food stores also usually offer different variations in their menu as well as other deals and promos
every month to ensure that their customers will always have something new to look forward to in their next visit.
What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Tell us about it on the comments section below.
(All photos are from establishments’ official websites and Facebook pages.)
Prices and menu may vary in different store branches. Prices may change without prior notice.